Written on: May 3, 2023
In a report at the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) meeting a day after the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) Southeast Convention in Nashville, Steve Kaminski, NPGA President and CEO reported that 3,800 industry members attended the event. Throughout the trade show, industry vendors reported high traffic and plenty of good contacts with retail propane marketers.
While industry members seemed very glad to gather again in person, as in 2022, there was once again a lot of talk about the serious challenges the industry faces especially amid the “Electrify Everything” movement. At a session on the first day titled “The Fight for our Future, One Year Later: A Panel on Electrification,” panelists compared those trying to force the world from fossil fuels to electricity as trying for force vehicles traveling at 100 miles per hour on a six-lane highway onto a small exit ramp. EPA regulations and new requirements in California and New York were major topics.
Introductory comments by NPGA President and CEO Steve Kaminski discussed new challenges but also included light-hearted humor suggesting the Federal agencies that have historically focused on confiscating drugs and weapons would be adding removal of gas stoves to their mission. Tucker Perkins, President and CEO of PERC, shared a message of hope that propane would be needed for many years to come in the United States despite efforts to move toward electrification. Noting lyrics in a song by Singer and Songwriter Taylor Swift who famously sings, “What you’re looking for has been here the whole time,” Perkins offered a slightly revised quote to create a more forward-looking message, “What you’re looking for will be here the whole time.”Outside the busy meetings and trade show discussions, attendees didn’t have to walk far to find one venue after another featuring live music even on a Monday night. Multiple events hosted by industry vendors as well as the Young Gassers provided plenty of of music and entertainment amid the fun vibe of Broadway in Nashville. There is no doubt Nashville has become a popular destination for the Southeast Expo with numbers in previous years 2016, 2017 and 2022 also drawing some of the largest propane crowds in history.
Next year, a new city, Charlotte, North Carolina will be host to the 2024 NPGA Expo. Industry members will have yet another chance to check out a new venue to explore. Regardless of the venue changes, there is no doubt the issue of the environment and electrification will follow propane industry members there. Fortunately, propane industry members are finding more and more that there is a positive story to tell regarding a clean, low carbon future.
Pictures from Nashville were included in last week’s issue and can be found here.