Propane Council Holds First Meeting of 1999


March 11, 2000

Builds Business Plans, Approves Funding Requests,
Welcomes New Council Members, Distributes First Newsletter
The Propane Education & Research Council met in Nashville, Tennessee last week (March 4) to discuss and act on several issues and initiatives. The following report summarizes the outcome of the meeting:

Business Plans Emerge
One of the most critically important items discussed was the development of business plans focusing on three priority areas called for in the Council's strategic plan---consumer education, safety & training, and research & development. The Council will consider the action plans at its June meeting. 'The three business plans are key links to new programs and projects,' said Council President Roy Willis. 'The goal for each of these road maps is to pave the way for growth in the propane market through full implementation of our consumer education, safety & training, and research & development missions.' Willis said the Council will ask the propane industry for its input before finalizing the three business plans:

Consumer Education. The Council's emerging communication strategy is a business-to-business plan that targets key propane-consuming industries and potential growth markets. Phase One of the strategy is underway through two programs being implemented by the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) -- a trade show initiative and a manufactured housing program. Phase Two will be designed around responses to a request for proposals issued to communications firms, who have until March 15 to respond.

Safety & Training. The Council has formed a Training Needs Assessment Task Force to research all of the industry's current safety and training curriculum and materials, identify gaps and needed improvements and anticipate the industry's future education and training needs. The task force is expected to report its findings to the Council in June. That report will form the basis for the Council's safety & training business plan.

 Research & Development. Working with industry and private firms, the Council is developing an action plan to initiate and support research and development projects pertaining to propane appliances and equipment, transportation and distribution systems, consumer attitudes and behavior, and economic market analysis. The Council authorized the president to form a steering committee to prepare an R&D business plan for the June meeting.

Grants/Rebate Requests Approved
The Council approved funding requests and rebate requests totaling $576,390. Funding Requests. The Council approved grants totaling $313,416. The grants approved include the following:

Development of Quarterly Regulatory Compliance Update (NPGA)--$35,816
Contribution to the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project (Propane Council) -- $10,000
Risk assessment to compare relative safety of filling Department of Transportation regulated propane cylinders by volume versus weight (NPGA) -- $22,400
Propane Industry Leadership Summit II (Propane Council) -- $9,200
Program to promote Council-funded Emergency Response Training Curriculum (Propane Council) -- $225,000
Near-term demand survey for heavy-duty LPG engines in bus and truck markets (The ADEPT Group, Inc.) -- $6,000
Sponsorship of Clean Airport Summit to be held April 12-14 in Chicago, Illinois (Propane Council)--$5,000 (presidential authorization) State Rebates. Eleven states received rebates totaling $262,974. Under the law authorizing the Council, states are eligible to receive 20 percent of the assessment revenues collected by the Council.
Open Session. In a related matter, the Council voted to open the grant review process to the public.

A complete list of approved funding requests (1998 and 1999) can be found on the Propane Council's website ( ) or for a copy via facsimile call 202-452-8975.

New Council Members Welcomed
Three new members were appointed to the Council.

Dan Sheldon, president & CEO, Ferrellgas, Inc., Liberty, Missouri, replaces James Ferrell, chairman of Ferrellgas, Inc.
Ralph Rooney, president, Suburban Gas, Inc., Bessemer, Alabama, replaces Margaret Griffith of Piedmont Propane.
Mark Stubbe, president, Dynegy Liquids Market and Trade, Houston, Texas, replaces Steve Furbacher, president and COO of Dynegy Midstream Services.
Council's First Newsletter Distributed
The first issue of 'IN TOUC3H8,' the Council's quarterly newsletter, is currently being mailed to the propane industry. Anyone who wishes to receive a copy of the newsletter should contact Tonja Brooks at 202-452-8975.