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Apply Now for 2016 KPGA Scholarships

Several years ago the Kentucky Young Gassers established the Thomas B. Bright, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, and three $1,000 scholarship will be offered in 2016. This scholarship is for high-school seniors or undergraduate students who are employed by or are relatives of employees of companies that belong to the Kentucky Propane Gas Association. 


The deadline to apply for the Thomas B. Bright Jr., Memorial Scholarship is March 15, 2016.


Click HERE for specific application instructions and click HERE to apply directly for the Thomas B. Bright, Jr. Memorial Scholarship. 


All applications will be submitted online this year. No paper copies will be mailed.


The NPGA also has scholarships available through the National Propane Gas Foundation. This scholarship is for high-school seniors or undergraduate students with a GPA of at least a 2.6. The applicant must be a dependent child of an employee of a member of the National Propane Gas Association. Click HERE to apply for the NPGF Scholarship.
 

The deadline to apply for the NPGF Scholarship is February 15, 2016.
Kentucky Represented at National Leadership Summit
NPGA Chairman‐Elect Stuart Weidie addresses state associations during the leadership summit.

The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) held their annual Leadership Summit on November 16–17, 2015 in Alexandria, Virginia. Executives from state propane gas associations as well as NPGA and PERC leadership came together to provide program updates, discuss common priorities, and share feedback that will help guide the industry’s efforts in 2016 and beyond. Executive Director Tod Griffin attended to represent the Kentucky Propane Gas Association.

In his opening presentation, NPGA Chairman‐Elect Stuart Weidie called for an increased integration of NPGA, PERC, and state propane gas associations, with the goal of leveraging the individual strengths of each organization to improve the industry as a whole. Part of this integration involves identifying and focusing on industry‐wide priorities, while recognizing that states have different priorities based on the varying political, environmental, market, and other events impacting marketers at a more localized level.
NPGA’s Phil Squair and Matt Bisenius give a legislative update.

To begin this discussion, state association executives identified the most pressing issues that their states are currently facing. Issues mentioned included natural gas pipeline expansion, lack of industry growth, limited infrastructure and supply, aging workforce issues and lack of qualified drivers, and maintaining state association membership and revenues.


NPGA lobbyists Phil Squair and Matt Bisenius presented a comprehensive legislative and regulatory update. NPGA held a number of successful meetings with a number of offices at the Department of Energy—including the Building Technologies Office, Vehicle Technologies Office, Sustainable Transportation, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the Grid Integration Initiative—with the goal of helping the DOE offices understand propane and where its place can be. Potential opportunities identified during these meetings include the following:

• DOE is interested in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s efforts examining potential DME propane blends and how they can be used for Class 8 vehicles.

• The “CHP Accelerator” Program at the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) is an online database where people interested in installing 10 MW or smaller CHPs at their facilities can find vendors and work closely with them. NPGA noticed that the database was organized with propane CHPs included under natural gas category and is working to get this corrected. NPGA is also working on regulation to get CHPs easier to install and make cost more beneficial for user.

 

NPGA is also currently examining and pursuing a number of regulations, including the following:

Bobtail Requalification Extension – Working to extend the DOT requirements for pressure test requalification of cargo tanks to 10 years.

LPG Odorization Issues – DOE proposal would require container tests beyond the industry standard sniff test; NPGA presented opposition to the requirement as applied to cylinders and cargo tanks and is still waiting on the final ruling.

EIA Information Collection – Submitted requests for collecting more segmented information in the weekly petroleum inventory report that are more useful for propane industry to plan their businesses; still waiting on revision from EIA.

DOE Furnace Proposal – Put forward detailed opposition to new furnace efficiency standards that apply to two product classes: 1) small furnaces (<65,000BTU) and 2) large furnaces (>65,000 BTU); DOE is still considering NPGA’s concerns.

DOE Hearth Products Proposal – NPGA teamed up with the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association to fight DOE efficiency standards on hearth products (e.g., decorative fireplaces, gas log sets, unvented gas fireplaces, etc.).

DHS Chemical Facility AntiTerrorism Standards (CFATS) on Appendix A Chemicals of Interest – Propane quantities of >60,000 pounds are considered chemicals of interest; DHS may be willing to work with chemical industries on facilities requirements.

OSHA Crane Rule – Deadline for compliance with the rule, which includes a third‐party certification requirement and was supposed to apply mainly to general construction, is Nov. 2017; NPGA submitted a letter of interpretation requesting permissions to exclude propane tanks based on current exclusion for delivery of building materials, but interpretation request is still sitting open.

OSHA Hazard Communication Standards – New container labels with contact information requirements need to be in use by December 1, 2015; NPGA has developed a white paper available on their website that provides more information.

Reduction in Excise Tax on Autogas – Calculation on energy content as opposed to per gallon has resulted in a 4–5 cent reduction per gallon on autogas; informative website is being developed by NPGA to inform constituents.

Extenders proposals, 50 cent per gallon tax credit, refueling infrastructure tax credit – Pushing for extenders to be extended further; odds that they will go through before the end of the year are strong.

Highway Bill – Currently pushing three amendments to the bill: 1) inclusion of propane in alternative fuel; 2) inclusion of alternative fuel vehicles included as an alternative way to reduce diesel particulate emissions; and 3) directing EPA to give benefits similar to those given to electric and natural gas industries to propane.

KPGA Executive Director Tod Griffin and NPGA President Rick Roldan pause for a picture during a break in the discussion.

In addition, NPGA has built the Propane Caucus up to 45 members, but would like to continue to grow it (natural gas is currently at 68 members). State executives and marketers can reach out to their representatives and encourage them to join. States are welcome use the automated letter writing campaigns run by NPGA to help boost caucus numbers.

 

With EPA Clean Power Plan almost in place, state executives were also encouraged to promote propane use to their state governments. Each state will be required to come up with a plan by next year that establishes limits for power plants on greenhouse gas emissions per megawatt hour. State executives were encouraged to pitch propane alternatives (e.g., CHP) to their state governments for inclusion in these plans.
KPGA Members Promote Autogas Use in Frankfort
Several KPGA members recently made a trip to Frankfort to meet with State Representative Steve Riggs (D-31). During the meeting, KPGA members discussed why local governments should switch to using propane powered fleets and equipment. KPGA members did an outstanding job of promoting propane as an alternative fuel source to Representative Riggs. Representative Riggs currently serves as Chair of the House Local Government Committee, and KPGA has been now been invited to speak before his committee during an upcoming meeting in January. A special thank-you goes out to all KPGA members who have been involved in this effort.
2015 KPGA Fall Membership Meeting a Success

KPGA members gathered in Bardstown on Friday, September 11 for the KPGA Fall Membership meeting. Several committees convened during the morning including the Association Affairs Committee, Marketing Education and Research (MERC) Committee, and Convention Committee. 


The Association Affairs Committee reviewed this year's budget, while the MERC Committee discussed future training programs. The MERC Committee discussed training sessions during the summer of 2016, as well as several field trips for KPGA members. Meanwhile, the Convention Committee discussed the agenda for the 2016 KPGA Summer Convention and discussed several ideas for next year such as bringing a band to the event, having a dinner on a Riverboat, and holding a game night.

 

Following committee meetings, the KPGA Board of Directors met. Several items of discussion included the future of the Midwest Propane Gas Association Convention, propane auto gas and a government affairs update. Following the board meeting, KPGA members enjoyed a lunch provided by the Rickhouse Restaurant in Bardstown, and a tour of the Willet Distillery.
Above: KPGA members tour Willet Distillery in Bardstown during the recent KPGA Fall Membership meeting.
OCTC Receives NSF Grant for Alternative Fuels Initiative
Owensboro Community & Technical College has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the amount of $745,602 for support of a project entitled "Preparing Vehicle Technicians for Advanced Transportation Fuels (DUE 1400422)." The project, under the direction of OCTC's Southeastern Campus Director, Mike Rodgers, and Automotive Faculty, Keith Nall, begins September 1, 2014 and runs through August 31, 2017. Partners in the program represent industry, government, and nonprofit organizations: ATech, Atmos Energy, ConsuLab, Cummins Crosspoint, Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition, Kentucky Corn Growers Association, Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence, Kentucky Propane Gas Association, Kentucky Soybean Board and Association, Kentucky Propane Education and Research Council, and Owensboro Grain Company.  The group began collaborating in 2013.

OCTC President, Dr. Jim Klauber commented, "This project was an idea that began with the Cobra project. We knew we were just scraping the surface by adding in the alternative fuel components. Once we got started, the need to offer additional curriculum and training options was apparent. This grant will help expand those offerings for our students and for future students."
Above: Tom Underwood, KYPERC; Dr. James Klouber, OCTC; and Tod Griffin, KPGA present a check for $15,000 for propane autogas conversion technology as part of the initiative.

The Kentucky Propane Gas Association provides its membership with legislative, regulatory, and operational support, while fostering fellowship in order to safely expand, enhance, and promote the growth and professionalism of the propane industry.