Propane Education & Research Council Adopts $21.2 Million Budget For 2001

Assessment Rate Goes to 2/10-cent Next Year Budget Plan to be Distributed for Industry Review


July 20, 2000

Washington, D.C.- The Propane Education & Research Council met in Chicago this week (July 18) where it unanimously adopted a $21.2 million budget that will require a two-tenths-cent assessment rate in 2001.

'I am so very proud of your action today,' Propane Council Chairman Daryl McClendon, president, Platinum Propane, Hinsdale, Illinois, told fellow Council members following the vote. 'There is no doubt in my mind that we are going to make a real difference for the propane industry by increasing our investments in consumer education, research and safety initiatives.'

On March 31, following a series of strategic planning sessions with Council members and other industry leaders and technical experts, Chairman McClendon announced the Council's intent to consider raising the assessment rate.

At the July 18 meeting, several industry members, including state association leaders voiced their support for the increase. 'It is my sincere hope that the Council will increase the assessment rate so that our industry can finally realize the dream of reaching millions of consumers with the benefits of using propane,' said Charles Zimmerman, president, Arizona Propane Gas Association.

The current assessment rate is one-tenth of one cent per gallon of odorized propane. The assessment collects approximately $10 million annually. On July 18, the Council voted in favor of increasing the rate to two-tenths of a cent in 2001.

Proposed Budget. A budget narrative is being prepared and will be distributed to the industry for review and comment the week of July 24. A final vote on the budget will take place in September.


Revenues:   $21,210,000 
Administrative Administrative $1,342,000   (6.3%)
State Rebates  $4,120,000  (20%)
Consumer Education     5,980,000
Research & Development      $5,980,000
Safety & Training $3,070,000
Industry Programs $525,000 
Other Expenses  $193,000

Other Important Action: Following a lengthy discussion, the Council approved a resolution intended to give the propane industry a 'sense' of the Council's position on future assessment rate increases:

'It is a sense of the Council that in order to fully implement its missions in 2002 an additional assessment increase will be required, as long as it is based upon the continued success of Council programs and projects.'

Task Force Appointed: Council Chairman McClendon appointed a special task force to be chaired by newly appointed Council Member Jim Bertelsmeyer, Heritage Propane, Tulsa, Oklahoma. The task force will be charged with developing a five-year vision statement for Council review in an effort to anticipate the scope and cost of future programs and projects.

New Council Officers: The Council re-elected its officers with one exception:

Daryl McClendon, Chairman (re-elected)
Thomas Nunan, Vice Chairman, Marketers (re-elected)
Bruce Toellner, Vice Chairman, Producers (new officer)
Walter Cressman, Treasurer (re-elected)
David Lugar, Secretary (re-elected)

Welcome New Council Members:

Jim Bertelsmeyer, Heritage Propane Partners, L.P., Tulsa, Oklahoma
John Gawronski, Dynegy Midstream Services, Houston, Texas
Craig Gocke, Koch Industries, Houston, Texas
Rick Paul, Duke Energy Field Services, Houston, Texas
Diane Prier, Williams Energy Services Midstream, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Kerry Upperton, BP Amoco, Houston, Texas

Next Meeting: The Council's next meeting will be held September 19-20 in Washington, D.C. The Council will also meet in Dallas on December 5-6, 2000.

2001 Calendar - Council Meetings:

April 10-11: Atlanta (Strategic Planning/Rebates)
July 17-18: Chicago (Grants/Rebates/Budget)
September 18-19: Washington, D.C. (Evaluation of Programs/Projects)
December 11-12: Houston (Grants/Rebates)

The Propane Education & Research Council was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of 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.