Propane Education & Research Council Elects New Officers—Approves the Distribution of Proposed 2002 Budget for Industry Comment—Awards Milford Therrell State Grant of the Year Award


July 20, 2001

Washington, D.C.-The Propane Education & Research Council (Council) met July 17 in Chicago, Illinois and voted to distribute for industry and public comment a proposed budget for calendar year 2002. It also elected new officers and approved several rebates and grants, including the Milford Therrell Award that recognizes an outstanding state rebate program.

The proposed $31 million budget for 2002 would require a three-tenths-cent assessment rate next year, with the additional funds going primarily to safety and training and consumer education programs. Last year the Council predicted that an additional assessment increase in 2002 would be necessary to effectively implement its missions. The industry and public comment period runs through August 24, 2001. All comments will be considered by the Council at its meeting on September 18-19, 2001, in Washington, D.C.

"The Council will take final action on this draft budget only after it considers the industry's comments and receives an acceptable evaluation of the Council's consumer education program," said newly elected Council Chairman Walter Cressman, president, Cress Gas Co., Richlandtown, PA. "That evaluation is being done by Wirthlin Worldwide, our research firm, and will measure the impact of our education program."

2002 Proposed Budget-to be distributed for industry comment the week of July 23

Revenues          $31,910,000
Administration            $1,738,500
State Rebates          $6,000,000
Consumer Education          $13,156,120
Research and Developement             $4,668,300
Safety and Training          $4,128,040
Agriculture          $1,500,000
Industry Programs             $508,040
Other Expenses             $211,000

A copy of the proposed budget will be available on the Councilundefineds Web site,, after July 23, 2001.

Mushroom Check-off
The Council received a report from its attorneys on the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling that the mushroom check-off program's use of mandatory assessment funds to primarily pay for generic advertising violated the First Amendment. "Following a review of the case with our legal advisers, the Council is confident that the propane check-off program could withstand a constitutional challenge," said Council President Roy Willis. "Nonetheless, the Council will review its consumer education strategy in light of that decision," Willis added. "We will continue the work being done in each of our missions."

New Officers
The Council is pleased to announce the election of the following officers who will serve one-year terms:

  • Chairman-Walter Cressman, president, Cress Gas Co., Richlandtown, PA
  • Vice Chairman-Marketers-Paul Grady, chief operating officer, AmeriGas, King of Prussia, PA
  • Vice Chairman-Producers-Bruce Toellner, vice president of NGL marketing, Mitchell Gas Services LP, The Woodlands, TX
  • Treasurer-John Ehlers, public member, San Antonio, TX
  • Secretary -Dale Delay, commercial manager, Wholesale Propane, Houston, TX

Advisory Committee Appointments
The Council appointed each of the current advisory committee members to one-year terms. The following industry members were also elected to serve as chairmen of the Council's four advisory committees:

  • Research & Development: Mark Alexander, CEO, Suburban Propane, Whippany, NJ (re-elected)
  • Safety and Training: Mike Semones, operations safety manager, AmeriGas Propane, Harrisburg, NC (newly elected)
  • Consumer Education: Tom Jaenicke, regional vice president, Ferrellgas, Inc., Flint, MI (re-elected)
  • Agriculture: Joseph Cunningham, director of marketing, Agway Energy Products, Syracuse, NY (re-elected)

Milford Therrell State Grant of the Year Award
The Council awarded the Ohio Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) the 2000 Milford Therrell State Grant of the Year Award, which recognizes the best state rebate program. The Ohio PERC organized a multi-faceted Fire Department Education Program using the Propane Emergencies program created by the National Propane Gas Association and funded by the Council. The Council established the award in 1999 in honor of the Council's first chairman. Ohio PERC will receive $25,000 over and above the state rebate dollar amount. Kentucky PERC was the first award recipient.


Funded Projects


State Rebate Program:
State foundations and PERCs are eligible to receive rebates equivalent to 20 percent of the Council's annual assessment collections. The Council approved 11 rebates to six states totaling $305,070 at the July meeting.

Research and Development
Propane Fuel Cell Technology Transfer Initiative-Breakthrough Technologies Institute and US Fuel Cell Council ($210,000) (Docket #10409)
Phase 2 MOBILE6-Jon Anderson ($57,393) (Docket #10416)
Transit-Based LPG Microturbine Rapid-Intervention Project-The ADEPT Group, Inc. ($27,600) (Docket #10512)

Consumer Education
Consumer Education Strategy Summit-Propane Education & Research Council ($45,000-$50,000) (Docket #10513)

2001 Meetings
The Council meets next in Washington, D.C. (September 18-19). The Council will meet on (December 11-12) in Houston, TX.

2002 Meetings
The Council approved a 2002 meetings schedule:
February 21-teleconference
April 9-10-Atlanta, GA
May 7-9-Kansas City, MO (Leadership Summit V)
June 14-Las Vegas, NV
July 16-17-Baltimore, MD
September 17-18-Washington, D.C.
December 9-10-San Antonio, TX

The Propane Education & Research Council was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of the Public Law 104-284, the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), signed into law on October 11, 1996. The mission of the Propane Education & Research Council is to promote the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy source. For more information about the Council, please call 202-452-8975 or visit the Web site at or