Propane People "In The News"

Propane People in the news Sarah McLallen joins NPGA as VP communications member services reports BPN 021220(February 12, 2020) — The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA; Washington, D.C.) has recently added several employees to its newly created Communications and Member Services Department. Sarah McLallen has joined NPGA as vice president of communications and member services, where she will head this new department. McLallen has spent the majority of her career at industry trade associations in Washington, D.C. She was most recently affiliated with the copper industry.

Propane People in the news Morgan Doggett joins NPGA as manager of communications reports BPN 021220Morgan Doggett has been named manager of communications
. She has previous professional experience at Partners of the Americas, U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois State Senate, USAID Soybean Innovation Lab, IllinoisVENTURES, Illinois Corn Growers Association, and Illinois Association FFA. In 2019, she relaunched marketing and brand of the international USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Program, and she led the creative development of the first fortified food grocery labels with USAID and the Haitian Government. The new department also includes longtime NPGA professionals Christine Hutcherson and Tara Falls.

Propane People in the news Shay bpn 021220Samantha (Sam) Shay has joined NPGA as manager, conventions and meetings, and will work with Kristen White. Shay was previously involved with nonprofit organizations.

Propane People in the news welcomes Kristina Howes to Jomar Valve reports bpn the propane industry leading source for news since 1939 February 12 2020Kristina Howes has joined Jomar Valve (Warren, Mich.) as marketing manager, where she will be responsible for driving the marketing strategy for Jomar Valve. She brings with her marketing experience in B2B and B2C companies, ranging from brand management to strategy. Most recently, she was a global product marketing manager at HP, providing innovative solutions to product lines and growth opportunities.

Propane People in the news reports Terry Smith at MTankCo retires after storied career in propane industry reports BPN Feb 12 2020Terry Smith of MTankCo Supply (Southaven, Miss.) retired Jan. 31. Smith has been part of the propane industry for more than 40 years, and shared his vast knowledge of LP-gas equipment throughout his tenure. He founded Smith’s LP Supply (Walls, Miss.) in 1981, and later moved and expanded the business in Southaven. In 2013, Mississippi Tank Co. acquired the business. Smith has played a major role with the newly formed MTankCo Supply and has helped it grow the business.


Propane People in the news Memorial for Sheri Sinske BPN employee of 40 years passes away Feb 12 2020

Emergency Action Plans Must Be Written, Reviewed, Distributed

(February 11, 2020) — There’s an emergency and your facility has been evacuated. Employees have gathered outside, but someone is missing. Is that person still in the building, or was the person absent today?
Emergency Plans Must Be Reviewed annually by propane business owners and safety team reports BPN Feb 2020
That scenario is an example of why “accounting of employees” is one of the many required elements of an emergency action plan. At a recent meeting of the Western Propane Gas Association (WPGA), the association’s safety consultant, Rob Scott, explained that propane marketers should know each day who has shown up to work and who hasn’t.

An emergency action plan isn’t something that’s created once; it’s something that must be reviewed on a regular basis. “There’s always an accident waiting to happen,” Scott said. “The question is: Are we ready for it?”

That, he noted, is what an emergency action plan is for. In his presentation, he focused on two questions: What’s in your plan? Has it been reviewed?

An emergency action plan is a written document that facilitates and organizes employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. Its benefits are fewer and less severe injuries; less structural damage; and reduced confusion.

The required elements of an emergency action plan include a means of reporting; evacuation procedures and emergency escape routes; procedures for critical operations; accounting of employees; rescue and medical duties; and contact persons.

Scott listed different sorts of emergencies. They include natural incidents, such as floods or tornadoes; technological incidents, such as chemical release and vehicle accidents; and man-made incidents, such as civil disturbances or workplace violence.

He told of a recent incident in which customers were unhappy that they would not be paid for the propane left in a cylinder. One of them brought out a knife. Scott asked, “Would your driver know what to do?”

In addition to an emergency action plan, other emergency planning procedures include exit routes; fire prevention plans; hazardous waste operations and emergency response; permit-required confined spaces; fire brigades; portable fire extinguishers; fixed extinguishing systems; fire detection systems; and employee alarm systems.

Scott suggested developing habits to adhere to these requirements. For example, if your fire extinguishers are inspected annually, do fire extinguisher training at the same time. You can test employees while the inspector is onsite.

He then walked the audience through an emergency assessment process, using a worksheet that is available from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

On the worksheet, you write down potential emergencies that could affect your plant. For each, you then estimate the probability of each emergency’s occurrence and assess the potential human impact, property impact, and business impact. Each is assigned a number, representing high or low probability or impact.
“We want to see near zero if we can,” Scott said. Those that do have higher totals, though, are those that should be given the highest priority and resources. But, he added, all emergencies should be planned for, and none should be ignored.

He then outlined a resource assessment. This includes assessing the personnel; the facility; and equipment and supplies. Among the questions to ask here are: Do we have first aid kits in trucks? Have we hired someone new? If so, have personnel records been updated? Is all necessary personal protective equipment available at the facility? Scott told of a driver who recently showed him his new leather gloves. The gloves were not the required gas gloves.

Communication is another element of an emergency action plan. Requirements here include a designee for alerting and assisting employees and others during an emergency; alarms that are distinctive and recognized by all employees; and post-emergency phone numbers. The plan should also include the details needed for notifying emergency responders, utility companies, the National Response Center (NRC), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Scott suggesting taking into account the response time of not only the fire station closest to your plant, but also the second closest. He explained that the one that’s closest might be out on a call when you need them.

Evacuation is another element of the emergency action plan. The plan should identify an emergency coordinator; evacuation captains; individuals responsible for shutting down critical operations; individuals responsible for accounting for evacuees; evacuation routes and exits; and evacuation maps and drawings.

“In an emergency, everyone’s natural reaction is to run,” Scott noted. “But someone needs to push the shutoff button.”

Propane marketers also should collaborate with others before an emergency. Others who can help include employees; company officials and management; local emergency responders; local and state government; local emergency planning committees; and community and civic groups.

“It’s all about building networks and alliances,” Scott said. He suggested attending meetings of the local fire chiefs’ association. “They will appreciate your participation.”

Keeping employees current on the emergency action plan requires distributing the plan, maintaining the plan, and training on the plan. Training should include both classroom activities and practice drills. “We can never do enough training,” Scott noted.

When all these elements of an emergency action plan are known and reviewed, everyone will be as ready as they can be when something unexpected happens—for instance, something that might lead to employees evacuating and gathering outside. — Steve Relyea

California Rebuked For Delegating Environmental Stewardship

(February 10, 2020) — An op-ed in Eurasia Review rebukes California for delegating its environmental stewardship to proxies. Noted is that the Golden State, with the world’s fifth-largest economy, ballyhoos its green leadership. However, its love of importing electricity and oil exposes its passion to green-up at any cost to fobbing off environmental guardianship to other countries and states that have significantly less controls.
California Green Energy Not so green with oil electricity imports increasing reports BPN propane industry leading news source since 1939
While other states have encouraged exploration and development efforts that have contributed to the U.S. emerging as a leading energy producer and exporter, California’s leaders “believe it is better to import crude oil instead of increasing in-state crude oil production from the largest shale reserves and ocean crude oil reserves in the country, found in the Monterey Shale and Pacific Ocean.” This is despite California being an “energy island” inhabited by about 40 million with no pipelines over the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

There are about two billion barrels offshore Santa Barbara that are discovered, estimated, and producible, but remain subject to state and federal moratoria on production. The larger reserves are within seven miles of the coast. This number is significant in that, with recently proven slant-drilling technology, formations within seven miles are accessible mostly from land-based rigs with no offshore spill risk.

With the no-exploration philosophy within the state, California, rather than keeping oil contained and controlled onshore, instead imports without discussing the nautical miles and weeks vessels need to travel to reach port. For example, the distance from oil-rich Saudi Arabia to Long Beach alone is nearly 9912 nautical miles via the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal. The miles and cost per nautical mile a ship must travel to bring crude to California is huge, but California, rather than produce its own oil from some of the largest U.S. reserves in-state, supports and pays for imports.

Eurasia Review comments that that the silence from California’s leadership is deafening in regard to the dangers of exposing marine life to the logistics of importing oil into California from afar, and the wastage of energy to get that oil from foreign countries to West Coast ports. “Seems that the green peoples’ fake pollution standards do not apply outside the borders of the state.” The periodical adds that “California loves to view energy with tunnel vision, believing that Californians only breathe California air and not the air in the world’s atmosphere—only seeing the clean in front of their eyes while being oblivious to the negative impact to the world’s emissions and environment that result from importing oil rather than producing it.”

Further, California imports up to 29% of its electricity because it cannot generate enough to meet its demands. That imported electricity comes at higher costs that are borne by residents and businesses alike. And with the planned shuttering of both nuclear and gas-fired generating plants on the near horizon in favor of renewable generation being brought onboard, the need to import more electricity every year will escalate to plug gaps due to the intermittent nature of solar and wind power.

In addition to importing electricity, the California energy island’s love of foreign crude oil is obvious as the state increased imports from foreign countries from 5% in 1992 to 57% in 2018, costing California more than $32 billion a year. That’s $60 million being paid to oil-rich countries every day. “California’s green movement dark secret about importing the electricity and oil demands for the fifth-largest economy in the world is that California is directly responsible as a major contributor of pollution and higher emissions from states and countries with less environmental controls than California,” Eurasia Review observes.

In addition, the California green passion has resulted in the exorbitant electricity and fuel costs it imposes on its 40 million residents by importing electricity and crude oil. “Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Green People’s pollution standards, and the Democratic-controlled state legislature are playing popularity contests with the facts and hiding the truth about importing electricity and oil demands. Such actions delegate the states’ responsibility for environmental stewardship to other countries and states that have significantly less environmental controls than California.”

(SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, February 10, 2020. Available by subscription)

Energy-Related CO2 Expected to Fall Annually Through 2021

(February 7, 2020) — The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) January Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts year-over-year decreases in energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through 2021. After declining 2.1% in 2019, energy-related emissions are seen retreating by 2% in 2020 and again by 1.5% in 2021 for a third consecutive year of decreases.
More Clear skies projected as EIA reports CO2 emissions lower in coming years reports BPN propane industry leading source for news February 2020
EIA notes these declines come after an increase in 2018 when weather factors caused energy-related CO2 emissions to rise 2.9%. If the forecast holds, energy-related CO2 emissions will have declined in seven of the 10 years from 2012 to 2021. And with the forecast declines, the 2021 level of fewer than five billion metric tons would be the first time emissions have been at that level since 1991.

After a slight pullback in 2019, EIA expects petroleum-related CO2 emissions to be flat in 2020 and fade slightly in 2021. The transportation sector uses more than two-thirds of total U.S. petroleum consumption. Vehicles miles traveled, or VMT, grows nearly 1% annually during the forecast period. In the short term, increases in VMT are largely offset by increases in vehicles efficiency.

Winter temperatures in New England, which were colder than normal in 2019, led to increases in petroleum consumption for heating. New England uses more petroleum as a heating fuel than other parts of the U.S. EIA expects winter temperatures will revert to normal, contributing to a flattening in overall petroleum demand.

Natural gas-related CO2 increased by 4.2% in 2019, and EIA expects that it will rise 1.4% in 2020. However, the agency forecasts a 1.7% decline in natural gas-related CO2 in 2021 because of warmer winter weather and less demand for natural gas for heating.

Changes in the relative prices of coal and natural gas can cause fuel switching in the electric power sector. And small price changes can yield relatively large shifts in generation shares between the two fuels. EIA expects coal-related CO2 will decline by 10.8% in 2020 after falling by 12.7% in 2019 because of low natural gas prices. EIA expects the rate of coal-related CO2 decline to be less in 2021 at 2.7%.

The lessening in CO2 emissions is driven by two factors that continue from recent historical trends. EIA expects that less carbon-intensive and more efficient natural gas-fired generation will replace coal-fired generation, and that generation from renewable energy—especially wind and solar—will increase.

As total generation falls during the forecast period, increases in renewable generation will decrease the share of fossil-fueled generation. EIA estimates that coal and natural gas electric generation combined, which had a 63% share of generation in 2018, fell to 62% in 2019 and will drop to 59% in 2020 and 58% in 2021.

Coal-fired generation alone has fallen from 28% in 2018 to 24% in 2019 and will fall further to 21% in 2020 and 2021. The natural gas-fired generation share rises from 37% in 2019 to 38% in 2020, but it declines to 37% in 2021.
In general, when the share of natural gas increases relative to coal, the carbon intensity of electricity supply decreases. Increasing the share of renewable generation further decreases the carbon intensity.

(SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, February 10, 2020. Available by subscription only.)

ThompsonGas Acquires All American Propane

(February 6, 2020) — ThompsonGas (Frederick, Md.) has announced the acquisition of All American Propane, a propane provider in Yakima, Wash. Details regarding the transaction were not released. ThompsonGas noted it was proud to welcome All American Propane’s residential, commercial, and industrial customers who have valued the company’s presence in the area for many years.

thompsongas logo“We are pleased to add All American Propane to the ThompsonGas family,” said ThompsonGas CEO Jeff Kerns. “All American Propane presents a unique opportunity to expand our northwest operations into eastern Washington.”

“All American is a great company serving one of the most important agricultural areas in our country,” added Jim Davis, ThompsonGas COO. “We are so pleased to partner with this great group of people to grow the business in the Yakima area.”

The acquisition strengthens ThompsonGas’ national footprint by expanding the company’s presence in the Northwest U.S. Family-owned and -operated ThompsonGas, which has been in business since 1946, now serves more than 196,000 customers in 20 states.