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Propane Personality: Jeff Stewart

September 15, 2020 By     0 Comments
Jeff Stewart headshot

Stewart

Jeff Stewart
President, Blue Star Gas

Education

University of Oregon
Master of Business Administration
Class of 1995

University of the Pacific
Pre-Law major and Organizational Behavior minor
Class of 1990

Work Experience

2000-Present
Blue Star Gas
⦁ President
1996-2000
⦁ Vice President
1990-93
JM Perry Corp.


History of Blue Star Gas

“We’ve been in business since 1938. My grandfather bought the business in 1946, and my father joined the company in 1956. We are the oldest private utility in California. We’ve grown to 14 locations in five states with 12 locations from the Golden Gate Bridge to Seattle, plus Salt Lake City and Phoenix, and have about 130 employees today.”


The industry’s current counter-electrification efforts

“As compared to a few years ago as an industry, there’s a greater appreciation and awareness of the challenges we are facing. But we are far from having a cohesive strategy. Until we have a strategy we can execute on, we all have a lot of work to do. Local engagement is a critical part of that, and amplifying PERC and NPGA efforts to be able to communicate at the local level is imperative.”


What can we do to counter the electrification movement?

“We have to have a clear, well-defined message as an industry to the policymakers, ‘thought leaders’ and legislators that presents propane as part [of the movement] to lower carbon, and to dispel the myth that electrification is the answer to everything. A very important element of our messaging has to be to clearly convey that there are emissions associated with electrification. Having unity messaging and every propane marketer singing from the same sheet of music is imperative. We have to present propane and reinforce that ‘propane can do that’ approach of PERC to more effectively show how we can be part of the solution. For example, development of new technologies is imperative, such as CCHP (combined cooling, heat and power), a box that will generate electricity at a home or business with a battery component and the ability to interface with solar and generate electricity when solar is unable to, provide the heat and hot water needs of our customers, and an air conditioning component. We need that technology to meet the challenging technical emissions standards in order to have a bright future for our industry.”


Photo: Canine Companions for Independence

Stewart volunteers for Canine Companions to fly puppies to the families that will raise them. Photo courtesy of Canine Companions for Independence

Hobbies

“I’m a pilot. I fly 500 hours a year. I have four kids ranging in age from 6 to 22. I like to fly-fish, as well. I also volunteer for Canine Companions and fly dogs during COVID. We’ve transported over 30 dogs throughout the western states for the puppies to be able to get to their puppy-raising families where they spend a couple of years before they go on to advanced training. The national airlines shut down, as part of COVID, their live animal transport. So myself and some other pilots here in Santa Rosa have stepped in to help transport dogs.”

 

About the Author:

Carly McFadden is associate editor at LP Gas Magazine. She is a graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and a native of Cleveland, Ohio. McFadden can be reached at cmcfadden@northcoastmedia.net.

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