Energize 2020: Free Digital Propane Conference April 8

Energize 2020, is a free digital propane conference scheduled to take place April 8, 10am–5pm EST, to give propane marketers the opportunity to connect and participate in educational sessions despite the cancellation of the NPGA Southeastern Propane Convention and International Expo in Nashville. The digital event is in partnership with the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), Cargas Energy, Tank Utility, Qualpay, Cetane Associates, and others.

Free Online Conference with six presentations scheduled to help propane marketers due to NPGA SE Expo cancellation scheduled April 8 2020 reports BPN the LPGG industry leading source for news since 1939 The online event will help propane marketers learn about industry best practices and innovations and will help fill the gap left from the cancellation of the NPGA SE Expo with a virtual conference of educational sessions, benchmarking groups, product training, and more.
 
The Energize 2020 Digital Conference will include 6 sessions in one day, focused on the issues facing the propane industry now:

1.      State of the Delivered Fuel Industry
2.      Delivering Fuel in an Uncertain Time (Marketer Panel)
3.      15+ Marketing Ideas to Wrangle Will Call and Acquire New Customers
4.      Don’t Buy New Tech Without Following These Best Practices
5.      Tank Monitoring at Scale (Fuel Marketer Panel)
6.      The Future of Innovation in Delivered Fuel
 
There will also be opportunities for marketers to engage with vendors via a Virtual Vendor Hall and insights from other propane marketers will be shared to help attendees improve their businesses. Sessions will be recorded and distributed to attendees after the event.
 
To support NPGA and its members, each sponsor will be making a donation to NPGA, and attendees will also have an opportunity to contribute. Register at https://energize.tankutility.com

SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, April 2, 2020. Subscribe to receive all the latest posted and spot prices from all major terminals and refineries around the U.S., featuring a center spread of posted prices that includes hundreds of postings completely updated each week, market analysis, insightful commentary and more.

COIVID-19 Regulatory Alert: Paid Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

(April 1, 2020) — The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) has issued a Regulatory Alert to notify its propane industry members that the U.S. Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to provide employees paid sick leave and paid expanded family and medical leave. It is in effect from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Each type of business has different employment structure and employee benefits. It is recommended companies review government announcements frequently.

Butane-Propane News (BPN) The Propane Industry's Leading Source for news and information since 1939 provides LPG industry complete COVID-19 repository for essential energy and transportation businesses federal safety CDC guidelines resources regulations employer resourcesThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are fast-tracking the regulatory process to provide employees and employers with guidance. Information is being updated regularly. [1]  More information available in the Resources section of this document.
 
Types of Leave
Paid Sick Leave . This is two weeks of paid leave, not to exceed 80 hours, for full- and part-time employees. Employees are paid at their regular pay rate or two-thirds of his/her regular pay rate depending on the reason that the employee is taking leave. A per day cap up to $511 and aggregate pay cap up to $5,110 over a two-week period applies. Full- and part-time employees are eligible regardless of the length of employment.
 
Expanded Family and Medical Leave . This is ten weeks of paid leave for child care that is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19. Full- and part-time employees are eligible. The rate of pay is two-thirds of the regular pay rate based on the hours normally scheduled for the employee. There is a per day cap up to $200 and aggregate pay cap up to $2,000 over a two-week period, or up to $12,000 over a twelve-week period if sick leave is combined with expanded medical and family leave. To be eligible, an employee must be employed for thirty days prior to taking leave.
 
Pay rate calculations depend on multiple factors including the reasons for taking leave. Calculations for leave are available in Resources .
 
Employers
Paid sick leave as well as expanded family and medical leave must be provided by employers with under 500 employees, including small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Small businesses – employers with 50 or fewer employees – may file for exemption from the leave requirements on the basis that it would “jeopardize the viability of the business”. DOL is developing the regulatory process to file for an exemption.
 
Employers must physically or electronically post a notice of the leave requirements. The notice is available from DOL in Employer Paid Leave Requirements under Resources .
 
Employers will recover 100% of paid leave through payroll taxes. The IRS will permit employers to retain from payroll taxes an amount equal to the amount of paid leave provided to employees. The payroll taxes available for retention are federal income taxes, employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. If there are not sufficient payroll taxes to cover the cost of leave paid, employers will be able to file a request for accelerated payment from IRS. The IRS is developing additional guidance.
 
Resources
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-poster-questions

[1] This information is provided solely for informational purposes based on information by the Department of Treasury, Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and other government agencies engaging in response to COVID-19. It is not to be construed as legal advice or legal guidance. NPGA expressly disclaims any liability associated with the accuracy or content of the information contained in this document. Users should consult the government resources for the most complete and current information pertaining to COVID-19 or contact an attorney for any specific advice.

This information is available for download on the NPGA Member Dashboard.

NPGA ALERT: Updated Federal Essential Worker Guidance and Essential Worker Documentation

(March 29, 2020) — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in conjunction with other federal agencies, has published an updated version of guidance on “essential workers” for state and local authorities that have or are considering ‘shelter-in-place’ ordinances or similar restrictions on movement. 

Butane Propane News (BPN) is the propane industry repository for coronavirus COIVD-19 LPG industry news, federal guidelines for essential workers Version 2.0: Guidance Memo on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response

Version 2.0: Guidance on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response

Version 2.0 is more expansive, in general, and reorganized. The only change for our industry is the inclusion of language to more specifically identify propane gas equipment manufacturers and distributors as among the essential workforce. The updated guidance includes many propane employees under the sectors for Energy and Transportation and Logistics. Some employees may fall under other sectors listed in the guidance.

The Guidance on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers is not federally mandated and does not have the force of law. States/local ordinances must directly incorporate or name the guidance for it to apply. Some states/local ordinances, however, have developed similar definitions for “essential workers”. 

Proof of Essential Workers. Some NPGA members have asked how they can demonstrate to officials that certain propane industry employees qualify as essential workers. Currently, there is no federal guidance on what to provide, but FMCSA suggests ‘essential workers’ keep on-hand the applicable state/local ordinance and the federal guidance, if applicable. In addition, to respond to member requests, NPGA drafted two template  statements for ‘essential workers’ of the propane industry: one for operations in states/localities that directly incorporate the federal guidance; and one is for operations in states/localities that do not directly incorporate the federal guidance but instead created their own list of “essential workers.”

Companies should first confirm there is a state/local ordinance in place. Then:
  1. If the ordinance directly incorporates or names the federal Guidance on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers: Draft Statement Naming Federal Guidance
  2. If the ordinance does not incorporate or name the federal Guidance on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers, but details its own list of ‘essential workers’ to cover propane workers: Draft Statement Using State/Local List

The NPGA recommends that companies carefully review the details of the state/local ordinance to check the eligibility of each employee as an essential worker. The draft statements are available under COVID-19 Resources on the Membership Dashboard.

Please send questions or concerns about your state/local ordinance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., NPGA State Engagement Program Manager. Please send questions or concerns about federal guidance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., NPGA Deputy Counsel, Regulatory Affairs.

These documents are provided solely for informational purposes in response to COVID-19. They are not to be construed as legal advice or legal guidance. NPGA expressly disclaims any liability associated with the accuracy or content of the information contained in these documents. Users should consult the government authorities and resources for the most complete and current information pertaining to COVID-19 or contact an attorney for any specific advice.

Propane Industry Organizations Post COVID-19 Resources For Essential Workers

Three organizations serving the propane industry have posted information on their websites to help propane marketers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Covid-19 Coronavirus Safety Guidelines for Propane professionals per LPG Industry and cylinder safety Guidelines reports BPN 03-26-20 the propane industry's leading source for news and info since 1939
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has created a new page on its website to assist propane marketers throughout this unprecedented health emergency. The page will serve as the central repository for safety alerts, health advisory updates, links to important world and national regulatory guidelines, and resources to help businesses maintain the vital service that so many people are relying on. PERC’s COVID-19 Message to Propane Marketers is at www.propane.com/covid-19-message/.

The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) has added a COVID-19 Toolkit to its member resources. The toolkit includes information and fillable templates propane marketers can use for navigating COVID-19. The association’s COVID-19 toolkit is now available to download from the password-protected NPGA Member Dashboard at www.npga.org.

The World LPG Association (WLPGA) has posted advice presented as a guide to protect personnel and consumers throughout the LPG cylinder distribution channel. It will also be incorporated in updates to WLPGA’s “Guidelines for Good Industry Practices for LPG Cylinder Filling” and “Guide to Good Industry Practices for LPG Cylinders in the Distribution Channel.” The advisory notice is available at www.wlpga.org/Mediaroom/good-industry-practices-advisory-notice-coronavirus-lpg-filling-plants-and-the-distribution-channel-some-precautions-to-take-during-the-pandemic/.

SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, March 26, 2020. Subscribe to receive the latest posted and spot prices from all major terminals and refineries around the U.S., featuring a center spread of posted prices that includes hundreds of postings completely updated each week, market analysis, insightful commentary and more.

API Report Provides Early Indication of Impact of Coronavirus

The American Petroleum Institute (API) in its February 2020 Monthly Statistical Report (MSR), released March 19, provides an early indication of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on energy markets.

Data from the report reflect the onset of the virus with downturns in demand for diesel (down 9.9% year-over-year) and jet fuel (down 5.2% year-over-year), but a slight increase in gasoline (up 0.3% year-over-year), suggesting many consumers chose to drive instead of fly in February.

“February data reflect the onset of the coronavirus and serve as an early indicator of the impact this global pandemic has had on energy markets,” said Dean Foreman, API chief economist. “The demand destruction resulting from the coronavirus combined with Saudi Arabia and Russia increasing supply has left global energy markets in unchartered territory.”

Since the coronavirus impact on U.S. markets has largely been felt in March, API’s next MSR will provide a clearer picture on changes to supply and demand.

Key Takeaways From the February 2020 MSR include:

Fuel substitution: Lower jet fuel and diesel deliveries in February were partially offset by increased gasoline demand as consumers appear to have driven instead of flown, likely due to concerns about the coronavirus. Consequently, U.S. gasoline demand rose in February to its highest for the month since 2007.

Slow supply growth: U.S. crude oil production sustained its record 13.0 mmbbld against a backdrop in which productivity and well completions (rather than drilling) shouldered the growth.

Record U.S. crude oil exports: At 3.6 mmbbld, record U.S. crude oil exports contributed to strong total petroleum exports (9.2 mmbbld) that made the U.S. a net exporter of oil in February.

Closer domestic and international prices: The price difference between domestic West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and international Brent crude oil prices narrowed in February and likely responded to increased pipeline capacity that especially enabled Permian basin crude oil to go to market more efficiently.

API’s February 2020 MSR can be downloaded at api.org/~/media/Files/News/2020/03/Monthly_Statistical_Report_February_2020.pdf.

SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, March 26, 2020. Subscribe to receive the latest posted and spot prices from all major terminals and refineries around the U.S., featuring a center spread of posted prices that includes hundreds of postings completely updated each week, market analysis, insightful commentary and more.)