Propane Industry Weighs In On Utility Proceedings

“Even though propane is not a traditional regulated utility, commission decisions still have a large impact on our industry,” Jacob Peterson, manager, state engagement for the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), told BPN. “DecNational Propane Gas Assoc Monitoring US Dockets tracking natural gas expansion projects reports BPNisions that promote other energy sources, such as natural gas or electricity, to the detriment of propane, hurt our market share and limit opportunities to grow gallons.”

NPGA has been actively monitoring utility proceedings across the country, according to Jeff Petrash, NPGA’s vice president and general counsel. Petrash told BPN that Peterson, who joined NPGA in 2018, has been spearheading the process of monitoring dockets across the country. “Jacob has developed a system to look for cases that involve natural gas line extension policies, subsidized gas expansion projects, and transportation electrification—specifically the process of requiring non-electric vehicle (EV) drivers to pay for the operation of public EV charging stations, and other issues that affect propane’s market share.”

“We locate problematic dockets and work with state and regional associations to determine the best course of action to fight back against harmful ones,” Peterson said. “These actions include submitting official comments, intervening in utility proceedings, and engaging with commissioners and their staff. We want utility commissions to realize that the propane industry has a stake in the outcome of these cases.”

Here are cases in four states that have recently landed on Peterson’s radar:

Colorado: A private utility submitted its 2021-2023 transportation electrification plan to the commission for evaluation. It includes a provision that, if approved, would allow it to own and operate public EV charging stations throughout its service territory.

Idaho: A private utility is proposing to revise the policies that govern its extension of natural gas mains and service lines. These rules will dictate how the utility can extend its gas delivery infrastructure to new customers and, importantly, who bears what cost in that process.

Minnesota: A private utility is seeking permission to levy a natural gas extension project (NGEP) rider on all of its captive ratepayers to help finance the extension of gas service to new customers in an underserved part of the state. The NGEP rider was created by the legislature in 2015 to help facilitate the expansion of gas service to new areas of Minnesota.

Virginia: The State Corporation Commission opened an investigation into transportation electrification to determine how it could potentially impact the affordability and reliability of the electric service provided to consumers. The Commission will study electric vehicles (EVs) and decide what is the proper role, if any, of utility investment in the deployment of public EV charging stations.

“NPGA utilizes a digital platform to track utility proceedings in all 50 states,” Peterson said. “Once we find a potentially problematic docket, we engage with our state partners to determine what, if any, action should be taken. How the industry responds to any particular case depends on the unique circumstances in that docket.”

This utility tracking program began in earnest in January 2019, according to Peterson. “To be effective, we must continue to get utility commissions to understand that their actions impact not only ratepayers, but competing energy industries (particularly propane) as well.” — Pat Thornton

Propane Autogas Answers Virtual Event

(August 5, 2020) — Join South Shore Clean Cities and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) for the "Propane Autogas Answers" virtual event, Thursday, August 6, 2020, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. CDT. Take advantage of this learning opportunity and reduce emissions without leaving your desk. SSCC Propane Autogas Answers Webinar Aug 06 2020

  • Learn the economic, environmental and energy security benefits of propane as a motor fuel
  • Discover what on- & off-road products are available for your fleet
  • Understand available financial incentives
  • Gain valuable knowledge about installing propane fueling stations
  • Hear from national propane autogas industry leaders
Speakers include:
  • Ryan Lisek, Project Manager, South Shore Clean Cities
  • Steve Whaley, Director of Autogas Business Development, Propane Education & Research Council

  • Mike Hayden, Propane Manager, Co-Alliance

  • Derek Whaley, Business Development Manager, ROUSH CleanTech

  • Sue Harrison, Director of Transportation, Michigan City Area Schools

Click here to register.

Enbridge Line 5 Partially Closed Amid Continued Study of Infrastructure

Since 2017, there has been intense focus on Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipeline, originally constructed in 1953, which according to Enbridge is a 645-mile, 30-in.-diameter pipeline that begins in Superior, Wis., travels through Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas, and terminates in Sarnia, Ont., Canada. As it travels under the Straits of Mackinac, Line 5 splits into two 20-in.-diameter, parallel pipelines that are buried onshore and taper off deep underwater, crossing the Straits west of the Mackinac Bridge for a distance of 4.5 miles. The concern of a pipeline leak in the Straits has had many Michigan government officials, environmental groups, and Native Americans pushing for permanent closure of Enbridge Line 5. A plan is in the works for a tunnel for the pipeline underneath the lake bed which could be completed by 2024. Much study and approval are still needed.
Enbridge Propane Pipeline Partially Closed reports BPN 0820

For the propane gas industry, closure of Enbridge Line 5 would cut off 55% of the propane that reaches Michigan, always one of the top three propane-consuming states in the U.S. In addition, all surrounding states would be impacted as well due to the tremendous amount of propane that ultimately lands in those states. “We all know there are simply not enough trucks and drivers to supply Michigan with propane in the event Line 5 were closed,” Derek Dalling, executive director of the Michigan Propane Gas Association (MPGA) told BPN. “Rail lines are not where they need to be to meet demand either, especially in the high demand winter months.” Dalling is also executive director of the Ohio Propane Gas Association and deputy executive director of the Indiana Propane Gas Association, two more states that would be severely impacted by a loss of supply from Line 5.

“We have been watching this issue with great interest especially due to its impact on New York as well as the many other states where it could affect pricing and availability of product,” said Bruce Whitney, executive director of the New York Propane Gas Association (NYPGA). “With potential interruptions to Sarnia, Ont., and other distribution points, we have great interest in product availability in Western and Central New York. As always, we advise our members to keep in close contact with their trusted suppliers and transporters and make the best decisions for their companies. If there ever was a time to consider adding more storage, this may be it.”

“This has been our biggest focus for the past several weeks,” Jeff Petrash, vice-president and general counsel of the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), told BPN. “The latest concerns stem from a report by Enbridge that something pulled one of the pipeline support anchors of the east leg out of position. It was also discovered that mussels on the west leg had been dislodged, indicating an impact of some sort.” Enbridge shut down both legs initially on June 18 but then reopened the west leg two days later after consultation with the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Both determined damage was limited to the east leg, and, as a result the west leg remained open.
Enbridge Propane Pipeline Partially Closed Infrastructure reports BPN

On June 25, a complete shutdown of Line 5 was ordered by Circuit Court Judge James Jamo after Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel requested a temporary restraining order. Four hours of oral argument took place from the state and Enbridge with regard to the Attorney General’s request asking the court to stop Enbridge from operating Line 5 while Michigan regulators review information provided by the pipeline. “The judge ruled July 1 the east leg needed to remain shut down until PHMSA could complete its investigation of damage,” Petrash said. “The west leg could restart to conduct an ‘in-line investigation’ (ILI) and ‘may continue to operate thereafter subject to the results of the ILI and further Order of the Court.’” At the time of the ruling, Vern Yu, Enbridge’s executive vice president and president of Liquids Pipelines, said, “Inspections have determined that the west segment of Line 5 crossing the Straits is safe for operations and which PHMSA did not object to restarting; we had shut down the east segment of the pipeline pending review of a disturbance that was discovered on one of the screw anchors and an assessment of the east leg’s fitness for service.”

On July 8, an Enbridge press release stated, “Enbridge has now submitted to the Michigan Circuit court and to the State the results of our inspection of the area of interest on the west segment of Line 5. The inspection, using an inline inspection tool, found no internal or external metal loss or dents. This test reconfirms that the west leg of the pipeline is safe to operate.”

“If there’s good news, it is that this didn’t happen in December or January,” said MPGA’s Dalling. “Also, the quick reopening of the west leg means the judge felt the west line was safe.” As of July 15, the east leg remained closed and the cause of damage to it some 220 to 240 feet under water remains a mystery. “There will be a review of ships that have come through the Straits in the past year,” Petrash said. “It is not clear what vessel would have come through dragging something that low that could have caused that level of damage.”

June 30 also brought a development regarding a tunnel that Enbridge and many stakeholders see as the most cost-effective and environmentally responsible resolution to Enbridge Line 5 concerns. The Michigan Public Service Commission rejected Enbridge’s request for a declaratory order that the commission’s original 1953 permit would allow Enbridge to construct a new $500-million tunneled pipeline beneath the Strait of Mackinac. The tunnel is projected to be completed in 2024. The commission ordered a hearing to be completed and briefed within 10 months. On July 7, a website was introduced by the State of Michigan,, to keep the public informed about Enbridge Energy’s proposal to build the tunnel beneath the lake bed.
Enbridge Line 5 pipeline partially closed due to infrastructure affect propane supply going into winter 2021 reports bpn

To fully understand the processes leading to the plan of building a tunnel for the pipeline, one must go back at least 10 years to an incident in Michigan in 2010. According to the new Line 5 website, an oil spill from Line 6B owned by Enbridge in a tributary of the Kalamazoo River near Marshall, Mich., was a key event that initially got public attention regarding the potential for severe damage from an oil leak or spill. On July 25, 2010, 843,000 gallons of oil flowed directly into the Talmadge Creek, a tributary that carried oil into the Kalamazoo River. This river is a Lake Michigan tributary and the oil was ultimately contained 80 miles from Lake Michigan. The State of Michigan and Enbridge entered into a $75-million Consent Judgment in May 2015. In July 2016, there was a Consent Decree between Enbridge and the federal government to resolve claims related to the Marshall spill. Enbridge agreed to pay $110 million on spill prevention and pipeline operations in the Great Lakes region and a $61-million fine. Cleanup efforts are ongoing and are estimated at more than $1 billion.

The Marshall pipeline spill led to the creation of the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force with the mandate to look closer at pipelines transporting petroleum products around the state, and especially Line 5. The creation of the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (PSAB) led to oversight of two independent analyses of Line 5, an alternatives analysis looking at the feasibility of other forms of transportation to handle the same amount of product that moves through Line 5, and a risk analysis of the potential financial impact of a worst-case spill to determine the final assurance amount as required under the 1953 easement. The alternatives report was provided in June 2017 and the risk analysis was provided in August 2018.

In April 2018, Line 5 was damaged in the Straits by a boat anchor that was dragged along the lake bottom. Three dents were caused to the pipeline, two on the western segment and one on the eastern segment, raising concerns about just how vulnerable the pipeline was to future anchor strikes. The portion of the Straits with pipelines were declared “No Anchor” zones.

In November 2017, an agreement between the state of Michigan and Enbridge required that Enbridge fix gaps in Line 5’s protective coating and begin a study of three alternatives to replace the pipeline in the Straits: a tunnel, horizontal directional drilling, or a trench with secondary containments. By December 2018, Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation to create the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority and its Board voted to approve an agreement with Enbridge to build a utility tunnel in the Straits. “The propane industry was very active in lobbying with Enbridge for this legislation,” Dalling said.

A new administration took office in Michigan in January 2019. Both Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel had said publicly that they oppose the continued operation of Line 5 within the Straits of Mackinac. Two current lawsuits threaten the ability of Enbridge and the State to move forward with the tunnel project. One states that 2018 legislation creating the corridor authority was not properly enacted under Michigan’s constitution and should be considered void. The second suit seeks to void Enbridge’s use of the 1953 Line 5 easement and end its current use of the existing dual pipelines.

“We hope that Gov. Whitmer does not undo legislation previously signed by Gov. Snyder and works together to identify and resolve any issues long before heating season so not to impact consumers needing propane heat in Michigan and beyond,” New York’s Whitney said.

A statement from Enbridge in June 2019 responding to the lawsuits said, “Enbridge shares the Governor’s vision of protecting the Great Lakes and reducing the risk to the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge remains fully committed to moving forward in a constructive manner with the Administration to reach our mutual objective of replacing the existing Line 5 crossing as soon as possible. We believe that the most effective path forward is to work expeditiously toward permitting and construction of the Tunnel, rather than through the courts. Evidence of our commitment to work collaboratively includes continuation of our $40-million 2019 engineering and geotechnical program, which will allow us to maintain the earliest possible in-service date for the crossing. In the meantime, Enbridge will continue to assert its rights in the courts to ensure we safely meet the critical energy needs of Michiganders.”

Both MPGA and NPGA have submitted letters to the Corps of Engineers. Describing the pipeline as a vital piece of the propane infrastructure serving consumers in Michigan, Ontario, and much of the Midwest, Dalling’s letter from MPGA said the propane industry does not condone leaking pipelines of any kind anywhere in the state and believes that the construction of the tunnel and the replacement of the segment of Line 5 ensures the safe transportation of the propane consumed throughout the state and region.

“Opponents of the existing Line 5 and the proposed new replacement segment of the line have consistently stated that the pipeline is not needed to deliver propane. I can definitely and unequivocally state that is not the case. There is unanimous agreement among all segments of the propane industry that Line 5 is critical for the safe and reliable distribution of propane throughout Michigan. Additionally, a shutdown of the line fails to recognize the interconnectedness of energy distribution not only in the State of Michigan but globally. A shutdown of the line would have ripple effects to the propane supply chain that would be felt throughout Michigan, the Midwest, and nationally,” the MPGA letter from Dalling states.

On behalf of NPGA, the letter from Petrash included: “Should the existing Line 5 go out of service for whatever reason and the proposed tunneled Line 5 not be constructed the effects on Michigan and regional propane consumers as well as others will be significant. During the proceedings of the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board convened by Governor Snyder extensive analyses were undertaken by Dynamic Risk and a consortium of advisors led by Michigan Technological University as to how Michigan might be supplied with propane in the absence of Line 5. Those analyses suggest that there is not sufficient capacity on other pipelines to replace Line 5 throughout; that the necessary investment in rail to replace Line 5 would be measured in the billions of dollars; and that replacing Line 5 with motor carriers might involve one truck per minute crossing the Mackinac Bridge twenty-four hours a day.”

He continued: “The bottom line is that any alternative to Line 5 would mean increased costs for consumers (measured in the millions of dollars), less safe means of transporting energy, less reliable energy supply, and increased emissions. Without question pipeline delivery is the most effective of all modalities. Moreover, it is unquestionably the safest and most reliable. Both motor transport and rail are less reliable in the winter, when propane is most needed in Michigan.”

As decisions are made in Michigan that may affect supply, which already has its challenges in the upper-Midwest, Dalling reminded marketer members in Michigan recently that Plains LP invoked force majeure for previous contracts and current operations for an unknown period of time: With that uncertainty in mind, he reminded members of steps that they can and should be taking to ensure their supply and delivery operations.
  • Make sure you have a solid supply plan that includes trusted wholesalers and transportation companies. You may want to have more than one wholesaler or transportation company serving your company. MPGA encourages you to make sure whichever companies you are choosing to do business with are members of the association.
  • Utilize dispatching software and logistics experts.
  • Invest in additional storage.
  • Pursue relationships with contractors, builders, HVAC professionals, plumbers, etc. to help you increase customer loads and burner tips.
  • Review NPGA’s “ABC’s of Supply Preparation” checklist.
  • Consider making time for NPGA’s Supply Webinar Series. — Pat Thornton

Gas Logs: The Ambience Of A Wood Fire, Without Ash And Smoke

For homeowners who are interested in a fireplace primarily for the beauty and ambience it provides, propane gas logs are an attractive option. Gas logs are cleaner and more convenient than a wood fire and more affordable than a fireplace insert.
Covid pandemic makes comfort of Hearths and propane gas logs from RH Peterson more popular for home AMBIENCE reports BPN

“A better way to enjoy the beauty of a wood fire is with a gas log, vented or vent free,” says Jerry Scott, senior vice president of RH Peterson Co. (City of Industry, Calif.). RH Peterson has been manufacturing gas logs in southern California since 1949.

Gas logs are intended to be installed in an existing fireplace, replacing wood with ceramic objects in a variety of styles and a flame fueled by natural gas or propane.

Compared to wood, they are cleaner and more convenient. Gas logs eliminate the need to buy, store, and cut wood; are easy to operate, turning on and off with the flip of a switch; and burn with no ash or sparks. “When people switch from wood burning to gas logs, they use their fireplace more often,” Scott says. “Starting a wood fire is a project; with gas logs, you just push a button.”

They also burn cleaner, making them environmentally friendly. Gas logs eliminate virtually all the particulates and the toxic gases of a wood fire. In the parts of the country that have “no burn days,” gas products can be burned on those days. “I remember a time Denver declared a ‘no burn day’ on Christmas Eve,” Scott says. “Soon after that, we got a lot of calls asking about gas logs.”

Compared to gas fireplace inserts, gas logs are more affordable. An insert is two times or three times more expensive. Another difference is that vented gas logs do not heat the room as efficiently as an insert. As with a wood fireplace, most of the heat goes up the chimney. “If someone is looking for a heating product, they will want an insert or a vent-free gas log,” Scott explains. “If they want the aesthetics and emotional warmth that a fireplace adds to a home, a vented gas log is best.”

Some state and local codes do not allow vent-free gas logs; only vented ones. Installation of gas logs requires a fireplace that has gas service. If a fireplace doesn’t have that, a certified technician can put gas service in. Scott also says it is a good idea to get the chimney cleaned, to ensure there is no creosote, and inspected.

Gas logs see a spike in sales in the fall and winter, but because of their aesthetic value, they sell in the spring and summer, too. Gas logs are available in a variety of styles to suit different personal tastes. Options include realistic-looking logs and several contemporary alternatives like smooth stones, geometric shapes, and crystal-like pieces in brilliant colors. Different burners are available to create different flame effects. Remote controls allow the user to start and stop the fire and adjust the height of the flame.

In a showroom, the key to selling gas logs is to have a burning display. “People want to see them in action and the beauty is in the fire,” Scott notes. “We hand paint our gas logs to replicate the appearance of wood, but there is no substitute for fire.”

In addition to Real Fyre gas logs, RH Peterson Co. manufactures Fire Magic grills, American Outdoor Grills, and American Fyre Designs outdoor products. The company has found that all these appliances have become more and more popular during the stay-at-home protocols around COVID-19. Because people are spending more time there, they want to make their homes more comfortable.

“If a customer has shown an interest in gas logs,” Scott suggests, “always ask about outdoor fire features and grills too.” — Steve Relyea

Propane People "In The News"

Propane People Lisa Bell joins LT Corp Quality Steel 0820(August 3, 2020) — Lisa Bell has joined LT Corp. (Cleveland, Miss.), the parent company of Quality Steel, as vice president of Human Resources. She has more than 22 years of experience in the manufacturing industry and brings a very strong background in strategic and change management leadership experience to her new position. Bell will aid the company in driving results and meeting its corporate strategic aspirations, including continued growth.
Propane People Chad Pendill forms has forms Legacy Energy Consulting LPG firm 0820
Chad Pendill has formed Legacy Energy Consulting LLC (Albertville, Minn.), a firm offering consulting services to propane and heating oil marketers for mergers and acquisitions, as well as business valuation services, seller representation, and buyer representation. He also provides project management, consulting propane marketers on large-scale installations such as autogas dispensing systems and bulk plant and terminal installations. Pendill has 30 years of experience in the propane industry. Most recently, he directed the acquisition efforts for the second-largest propane marketer in the U.S.

The Missouri Propane Gas Association (MPGA) recently elected its officers and directors to serve on the board of directors for 2020-21. Association officers include Brian Brooks, Brooks Gas (Marshfield), president; Luke Fitzpatrick, MFA Oil (Wardsville), vice president; Mark Porth, CHS (Lawson) treasurer; Samantha Reed, Reed Oil (Doniphan), membership chair; and Derek Poe, Titan Propane (Branson), past president chair. Serving as directors for the coming term (senior listed first) are John Baucom, Prairieland FS (Liberty,Ill.), and Tom Stanturf, The People’s Coop (Trenton), Region 1;
Steve Jenkins, Jenkins Propane (Tina), and Kevin Salley, Salley’s Propane (Bates City), Region 2; Mikal Thornhill, All Weather Propane (Centralia), and Bill Jung, MFA (Gravois Mills), Region 3; Jason Bond, MFA Oil (Neosho), and Tim Peach, Titan Propane (Springfield), Region 4; Roger Hoff, Hoff Brothers (Perryville), and Mitch Dane, Titan Propane (Houston), Region 5.

Associate directors for the term include: Jared Ballard, Nixon and Lindstrom (Springfield); David Perkins, Dealers LP (Marshall); Brian Humphrey, InSite Platform Partners (St. Charles); and Ron Keeling, LPG Ventures (Kearney).

Of note: Incoming president Brian Brooks is the third generation from Brooks Gas and fourth family member to serve as MPGA president. Bill Brooks (grandfather) led the organization from 1976-77; Joe Brooks (father) from 1999-2000; and John Brooks (uncle) from 2010-11.

Also, MPGA marked its 75th anniversary on June 29, 2020. The organization was chartered on June 29, 1945, as the Missouri LP-Gas Association, originally located in Springfield, Mo.

BPN welcomes new Propane People In News and Michel Brideau of Otodata propane tank monitoring software June 2020
Propane People in the news Castillo joins Otodata propane software co 0620Michel Brideau has joined Otodata Tank Monitors (Montreal, Que.) as its production manager. With his extensive experience in the field of production and logistics, the company believes he will be key in putting several new initiatives in place as well as process improvements.

Another new addition to the Otodata team is Francisco Castillo. As product integrator, he will serve as a liaison between the Otodata sales team, R&D, production, and marketing departments to develop and launch new products.Castillo will also work with customers to plan proof of concept and initial deployments, ensuring flawless integration and a positive customer experience. 

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has added three new staff members to its business development and safety teams to grow uses and users of propane and improve our delivery of workforce training and consumer safety programs.

Gokul Vishwanathan has joined PERC as director of research and sustainability. He is a mechanical engineer in training and practice. His responsibilities include leading PERC initiatives to grow propane demand through research, technology development, and sustainability programs. He was formerly with Booz Allen Hamilton, where he supported the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) and the advanced manufacturing office of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) as a technical adviser and subject matter expert in connected and automated vehicles, powertrain development, combined heat and power, thermal energy storage, and carbon capture technologies. Before that, he was a technical specialist at Cummins, leading medium-duty and heavy-duty diesel engine development work and developing novel fuel and air-path calibration mechanisms for diesel engines.

Matt McDonald joined the business development team as director of off-road business development, where he is responsible for supporting research and development and market outreach and training projects with a focus on new product development and commercialization in the off-road market. Prior to joining PERC, he worked at Ferrellgas Partners LP in Kansas City, Kan., where for more than five years he was general manager. He increased revenue by 15.5% over previous years and generated more than $6 million in cash flow. He also coordinated web and social media efforts that resulted in a higher rate of new customers and overall sales. McDonald also created targeted marketing programs that generated goodwill for Ferrellgas in a three-state area. Before Ferrellgas, he worked for ADT Security Services in Kansas City, Mo., first as operations manager and then as district sales manager.

Garrett Johnson has joined the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) as administrative assistant, where he will provide support for the safety, education, and compliance team, and assist with Learning Center help desk calls. Prior to PERC, he was executive assistant to the lead attorney at a law firm in Silver Spring, Md. In addition, he also supported the firm’s work in legal compliance and business development, tracked quality-control measures on cases for review by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the State Department, and handled client invoicing and firm expenses.
Kevin Wood Named new sales account manager at Proulx Oil & Propane reports BPN august 2020

Proulx Oil & Propane has promoted Mandee Anderson to customer service manager reports BPN July 2020Proulx Oil & Propane
(Newmarket, N.H.) has named Kevin Wood as sales/account manager. In this position, he will focus on further enhancing the company’s ability to offer customers expertise in the areas of both fueloil and propane systems equipment and appliances, to include new and additional equipment installations as well as system upgrades and conversions for home and business.

Mandee Anderson has been promoted to customer service manager at Proulx Oil & Propane. She began her career with Proulx in 2005 as part of Newmarket High School’s school to career/work program. Since that beginning, she has proven to be an important member of the Proulx team and has since completed her degree at Great Bay Community College. She has contributed to streamlining procedures that have improved the overall customer experience at Proulx. Her customer service skills and leadership by example benefit the company’s front-line team.

Propane People In News Porco Energy founder Joseph Anthony Porco Passed Away Memorium 082020Joseph Anthony Porco, 59, passed away on June 7. He operated Porco Energy in Marlboro and Wurtsboro, N.Y. with his brother Dominick. Porco Energy, founded in 1954 by their parents, Anthony and Lilian Porco, began as a Petrolane dealership before turning independent in the early 1970s. The brothers joined the company with greater responsibilities in the early 1980’s. Joe’s son Timmy, his daughter Nicole, and nephew Chris Scaturro joined a few decades later, taking on key roles in the firm. After nearly 65 years of successful business, the brothers chose to sell the company to Superior Energy in 2018. Joe remained with Superior Energy as a key business advisor for nearly a year and a half under an initial contract that he later renewed.
joe porco in memorium propane industry leader mourned reports BPN 07 2020
He served his company’s customers, the propane industry, and the New York Propane Gas Association (NYPGA) in nearly every way possible. He utilized his degree in accounting to begin serving on the NYPGA executive board as treasurer starting in 2002 which ultimately led to his NYPGA presidency, 2010 to 2012. Mr. Porco supported the financial needs of NYPGA Member Safety Programs with New York Propane Education and Research Council (NYPERC), first as a board member since 2012 and then chair from 2018 to 2020.

In 2018, he was also chosen to represent New York in a national capacity as the National Propane Gas Association state director to serve the interests of all New York propane marketers. It was said that. “At just 59 years, Joe Porco had been perhaps the youngest Elder Statesman in the aging propane industry for many years.”

He heightened community awareness and support for breast cancer research by painting his newly purchased bobtail pink, and later he developed a second bobtail for awareness and support of the Anderson School of Autism. He and his wife, Debbie, also co-founded Lucy The Rescue Dog Inc., a 501(c)(3), that provides financial assistance to pet families in emergency situations.