Propane Council Approves Major Funding Requests

Advisory Committees Establish Milford Therrell State Grant of the Year Award


September 24, 1999

Members of the Propane Education & Research Council met this week (September 20-21) in Washington, D.C. Three years ago next month (October 11) the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) was signed into law which authorized the creation of the 21-member Council.

'I am extremely proud of how much the propane industry has been able to accomplish in a relatively short period of time,' said Council Chairman Daryl McClendon, president, Platinum Propane, Hinsdale, Illinois. 'Working with the industry and other top-notch professionals, the Council is making progress in its quest to make propane gas a preferred energy choice in the United States,' added McClendon. 'However, we are not resting on our laurels. There is much we can and should be doing as an industry to grow the market and we will remain focused on this mission.'

Funding Decisions:
State rebates: Nineteen states received rebate dollars totaling $736,677.
Grants: The Council approved $1.5 million dollars in funding requests.

Among the major grants:

National Propane Gas Association/Ancient Gassers-$350,000-funding will support the development of a propane exhibit at the National Museum of Industrial History in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
National Propane Gas Association/Propane Education & Research Council-$216,525-funding will support the propane industry's participation at the International Builders' Show in January 2000.
Ford Motor Company-$263,500-funding to support expansion of Ford's super ultra low emissions vehicle (SULEV) demonstration project to include dedicated propane applications in airport shuttle buses, paratransit buses and inner-city pickup and delivery vehicles for non-attainment areas.
IMPCO Technologies, Inc.-$100,000-funding for development of a propane system for the new GM 8.1L engine to be released in medium-duty trucks for the 2001 model year.
Propane Education & Research Council-$56,200-purpose of the project is to evaluate current fuel cell systems, manufacturers and to identify potential near-term fuel cell demonstration projects utilizing propane as the fuel source.
National Propane Gas Association-$280,000-funds will pay for the printing of 30,000 additional Propane Emergencies textbooks.
Propane Education & Research Council-$175,000-purpose of the project is to develop, publish and distribute a research and development roadmap for the propane industry that examines market trends, opportunities and obstacles to growth and technology needs that can assist the industry in realizing opportunities and overcoming obstacles.
Propane Education & Research Council-amount to be determined by the Council Treasurer-resolution was passed to review and assess liability and risk issues associated with the operation of the Propane Council.

Advisory Committees: The Council appointed three advisory committees (Consumer Education, Research & Development, Safety & Training) made up of industry members. Each committee will be responsible for reviewing, recommending and implementing programs and projects in each of the three mission areas.

Milford Therrell State Grant of the Year Award:
The Council established the Milford Therrell State Grant of the Year Award in honor of the Council's first chairman. The grant will be awarded annually to recognize the best state rebate program. Criteria for the award, to be decided, will likely include originality, benefit to the propane industry, and compliance with the Propane Education and Research Act provisions. The recipient will receive $25,000, which will be over and above the state rebate amount.

Other major initiatives discussed at the meeting included the Council's national communications program. Marketing firm Porter Novelli reported on the progress made since June. The $1.2 million public relations program is designed to target key markets, including residential, agriculture and fleet. The campaign is also reaching firefighters with safety messages through the new training program Propane Emergencies.

The next meeting of the Council is December 6-7, 1999 in The Woodlands, Texas.

2000 Council Meeting Calendar:

March 30-31, Atlanta, GA
June 20-21, Washington, DC
July 18, Chicago, IL/Budget Meeting
September 19-20, Washington, D.C.
December 5-6, Dallas, Texas