Propane Days: Our time in Washington

February 1, 2005 By    

For a $35 billion industry that has been in existence for almost 100 years, the upcoming 2005 Propane Days in Washington, D.C. will be a first.

Philip Squair, Vice President, NPGA
Philip Squair, Vice President, NPGA

NPGA has held Washington “fly-ins” in years past to help stop legislation that would have hurt the industry, but this year’s Propane Days is different. The Propane Days 2005 event is organized around the principle of awareness: we are coming to Capitol Hill to directly promote to lawmakers our industry and our positive impacts on consumers and the American economy.

Propane Days will be a two-day series of events held May 10-11 in Washington, D.C., highlighting the propane industry to elected officials and policymakers. It will feature receptions on both the House and Senate sides of Capitol Hill showcasing the many industrial, agricultural, and consumer applications of propane. Built around these receptions will be meetings with key members of Congress and administration officials and their staffs, breakfast briefings for event attendees, and other related events in D.C.

Propane Days is a major part of the industry’s 2004-05 Capital Awareness Program (CAP), a joint partnership between the National Propane Gas Association and the Propane Education & Research Council to educate federal policymakers. The program includes advertising, an economic study of the industry, sponsorships and an intensive Washington public relations campaign. But all these activities lead to Propane Days.

NPGA believes that a central aspect of the program will be the propane industry representatives from all states and regions of the country coming to demonstrate their commitment to the industry. NPGA has initiated a special outreach effort with the 39 state associations to work together generating as many Propane Days participants as possible.

“It is critically important that every sector of the propane industry — marketers, distributors, manufacturers, producers – come to Washington for these events so that policymakers understand propane’s diverse uses, its role as a clean, efficient energy source, and its contribution to the economy,” said NPGA President and CEO Richard Roldan.

“Raising the industry’s profile in Washington will help ensure that the needs of the propane industry are not overlooked when policymakers explore reliable alternatives to fueling the varied energy needs of our nation.”

In the minds of many in Congress, propane is lumped in with other energy sources such as natural gas. Begun last summer, CAP is designed to make opinion leaders and decision makers in Washington, D.C. more aware of propane, the industry, its role in the U.S. economy, and the work of NPGA and PERC.

Its primary goal is to create a new perception of propane among Washington opinion leaders and decision makers that is grounded in the reality of our fuel: Propane is a clean, safe, environmentally friendly, and reliable means of fueling the varied energy needs of our nation.

Many established industries with long-time representation in D.C. invite their members to Capitol Hill. Seeing hundreds of businessmen and women swarming over Capitol Hill always leaves Congressional staff with a strong impression of an industry’s strength. Propane Days – and the overall CAP initiative – will do the same for propane.

Other CAP elements include an economic study released in January showing the vast economic contribution propane makes to state and national economies, a monthly electronic newsletter delivered to 1,500 congressional and regulatory officials, NPGA-sponsored events and grassroots initiatives, and advertisements in Washington newspapers and publications. Last year, the industry sponsored high-profile events at the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

Details of how to register for Propane Days, hotel information, and a complete agenda can be found on the NPGA Website, under the “2005 Propane Days” link on the front page.

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