NPGA Celebrates Industry's Resilience, Announces Current Projects

The industry’s resilience in coping with the pandemic and preparing for winter after unprecedented changes in upstream production, was the focus of the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) 2020 Annual Meeting & June Board Meeting. Speakers noted how propane marketers have adapted, how NPGA has assisted, and how some current projects will help the industry continue to respond.

NPGA June 2020 Board Meeting overview by leading source of propane industry news BPNHeld June 15, the event was, for the first time, a virtual meeting. Originally scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C., it was moved to a webinar format due to uncertainty around restrictions on large gatherings and travel.

THE NEW REALITY

Reflecting on the change, and on the many happenings during his year as NPGA chair, Randy Thompson said, “A year goes by quickly. Mine started with lots of travel, and ended with lots of phone calls. It’s a different way of accomplishing business.” The founder and senior advisor at ThompsonGas LLC also highlighted one of the many contributions NPGA had made to the industry during the pandemic: getting the propane workforce listed as an essential workforce. “This saved the industry countless headaches,” Thompson said.
NPGA LPG June 2020 Board Meeting summary BPN
He and other speakers noted that in addition to the pandemic, the past year saw the industry deal with supply issues in the Midwest and the continuing challenge of the “electrify everything” movement. In addition, the association made two big moves of its own; it transitioned to new Leadership and sold the Certified Employee Training Program (CETP) to the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

“WHAT A YEAR!”
Denis Gagne, who succeeded Thompson and became the 2020-2021 chair of the board during the meeting, later said, “What a year!” He thanked Thompson for embracing “The Green New Deal and Electrify America” challenges during his term and pledged to continue addressing them. During his incoming remarks as NPGA chair, the Sr. VP of Supply and Acquisitions at Eastern Propane & Oil (Rochester, N.H.), said he faces challenges with confidence. “NPGA Leadership Team’s mission is committed to continue to work on issues such as decarbonization, advocacy, supply, and others yet to come,” Gagne said.
BPN the propane industry's leading source for news since 1939 recaps the NPGA June 2020 Propane Board Meeting LPG
He invited members of the industry to bring forward any questions or concerns they may have. “NPGA’s Leadership takes direction from its members,” he said. “We will address challenges as they occur and take the necessary steps on those items that merit action.” In addition to the Leadership, Gagne pointed to the talented and experienced individuals at NPGA, PERC, and the state associations. He also noted the strong collaboration between NPGA and PERC, which share a common goal: Industry growth.

During the president’s report, Steve Kaminski noted that recent events had demonstrated the importance of both propane and the propane industry. “The pandemic has reinforced propane as a safe and resilient source of energy for use in emergencies,” the president and CEO of NPGA said.

Kaminski then listed NPGA’s many accomplishments since the last board meeting, which was held in February. These include securing essential worker status; including propane in hours-of-service exemptions for transport of essential supplies; securing face masks for members; unwinding the 2020 NPGA Expo and fully refunding fees, sponsorships, and registrations; answering questions related to the pandemic; hosting webinars and leading discussions with legislators, transporters, and others during the Midwest supply situation; improving cooperation with PERC; and successfully advocating for hours of service modifications that are to take effect Sept. 29.
NPGA June 2020 Board Meeting summary by BPN the propane industry's leading source for LPG news since 1939
Many of these projects continue, and new ones are being added. During the board meeting, two soon-to-be-released resources were announced:

LPG supply chain webinars: A proposed scheduled webinar series aimed at promoting understanding of the LPG supply chain is to be available to all NPGA members. This is to include four webinars covering upstream production and downstream implications; over-the-road transportation; midstream logistics; and the 2020 harvest. As the webinars near, invitations will be sent to NPGA members and will be published in the NPGA Reports e-newsletter.

Registered apprenticeship program handbook: The Department of Labor has approved NPGA’s application for two job classifications in this program: driver and service technician. Now, the association is developing a handbook that will explain how the program works. It will include the requirements; the ways companies and individuals can participate; the different types of applications; the required forms; and the funding opportunities available to applicants. When this is completed, it will be available on the Member Dashboard at npga.org.
NPGA Recap of June Board Meeting BPN propane leader
NPGA’s next board meeting, the Fall Board of Directors Meeting, is to be held Sept. 27-29 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “I look forward to seeing you in person in Fort Lauderdale,” Kaminski told those viewing the webinar. “Our plan at present is to hold it in person with robust safety procedures.” — Steve Relyea