Propane and the presidency

July 19, 2012 By    

Natural gas is at the center of the national conversation on energy. It’s also one of the many topics up for debate in the presidential race, as President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney position themselves as pro-natural gas now that it’s widely known natural gas is abundantly available here in the United States.

So with natural gas now being the cat’s pajamas, how can propane be positioned as the bee’s knees? What would it take to get Obama and Romney to infuse a comment or two about propane into their messaging on the campaign trail?

Consider Obama’s remarks at a campaign stop July 16 in Cincinnati. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, Obama told a crowd that, “Natural gas actually burns cleaner than some other fossil fuels. So I want to encourage natural gas production. The key is to make sure that we do it safely and in a way that is environmentally sound.”

Romney made pro-natural gas remarks in Cincinnati about a month before Obama’s, saying that “I happen to like the sources of energy that we have in abundance in this country: oil, coal and natural gas. And I’m going to take advantage of those to get the energy costs low so we can have more jobs, manufacturing jobs, and bring them back to this country.”

Natural gas proponents must be salivating hearing remarks like those. But where’s the mention of propane? We haven’t heard Obama, Romney or any presidential candidate this year even mention propane as an energy that can grow the economy, create jobs or increase America’s energy security. The propane industry shouldn’t necessarily expect propane to be at the center of the domestic energy conversation, but propane should at least be a part of it.

Imagine if propane generated headlines as part of Obama’s and Romney’s energy agendas. And that we heard comments like, “Abundantly available, cleaner-burning fuels like natural gas and propane will increase our energy security, grow our economy and shrink the bottom lines of people all across America. We must invest in these energies now.”

Making propane part of the national conversation on energy would give the autogas opportunity in front of us greater momentum, and propane applications that sometimes seem too long to gain momentum could become more mainstream in use.

No mention of propane on the presidential campaign stage isn’t necessarily the end of the world. But propane’s omission can serve as a reminder that the industry needs to intensify marketing efforts to gain the kind of traction that translates into millions more gallons used.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik was a senior editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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