warm thoughts

Welcome to the inaugural issue of TRENDING IN PROPANE!

Written on: March 3, 2022

patWelcome to the inaugural issue of TRENDING IN PROPANE! Each week, we’ll explore some of the most important topics on the plate of the independent retail propane marketer. Of course, such topics should be of interest to all stakeholders in the propane industry who support the independent retail propane marketer as they perform the important task of distributing these clean, non-toxic molecules of propane throughout the country. Always ready to warm homes, fuel many modes of transportation, power our farms and industrial facilities, and make outdoor living enjoyable, our retail warriors are also on standby to deploy our clean fuel when hurricanes, tornadoes, and other acts of nature cause outages to the electric grid infrastructure.

TRENDING IN PROPANE is conceptualized to be a useful tool at a time of unprecedented change and growth in our world. Wholesale propane represents the biggest “cost of goods sold” line item for every retailer. The evolution of America from net importer to net exporter gives us supply security but also makes us bid against the rest of the world for our popular American-made product. Environmental concerns and the need to curtail carbon emissions put propane in a new realm of challenges but also great opportunities. We’ll share the thoughts and activities of some of our industries brightest leaders on supply and the national energy conversation in almost every weekly issue. There will be plenty more to discuss as well!

With the acronym TIP, it is appropriate that our weekly featured articles will be part of the “TIP Sheet” and some issue-specific tips will be in “Today’s TIPS”. In this first issue we’ll share tips on storage tanks and strategies for purchasing and deploying them for maximum benefit.

Change has been a consistent theme since I joined the industry in 1996. My first role with Propane Resources was to lead a CD-ROM training program, the first such program in the industry. “Bleeding edge technology!” my boss, Dwain Willingham said, but soon internet-based training became the way of the future and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) became the industry’s primary funding source. Wholesale supply, another endeavor for me at Propane Resources, introduced me to a volatile crude market a decade and a half ago. That along with the export factors mentioned earlier brought plenty of changes to propane supply and distribution.

Five years of writing for Butane-Propane News (BPN) helped me learn a lot more as the story of our industry continues to upfold. Warm Thoughts Communications is an outstanding resource helping to make TRENDING IN PROPANE a reality. For 30 years, they have been helping retail propane marketers to create the right message and have the best communication tools to share it in the marketplace. Check us out each week and stay up to speed on the important things going on with propane. Soon you will also see our website grow and we’ll have videos as well.

Everyone in the industry has unique experiences. Do you have subjects you would like to write about or tips to share? I’d like to hear from you and discuss your ideas for making TRENDING IN PROPANE more beneficial to you and fellow industry members.

If you would like to contribute, or have other ideas or feedback, please contact me at 913-909-7917 or thorntonpat@rocketmail.com.

Pat Thornton
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief