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November 8, 2012
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News for and about the propane industry

  Top Story 
  • Report: N.C. sheriff reduces emissions, saves money with autogas
    The Iredell County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 52% and saved on maintenance costs since converting 13 of its vehicles to run on propane autogas last year, according to the North Carolina Solar Center. The police cars will displace 296,400 gallons of gasoline during their eight-year service life. The sheriff's office has since added another 16 propane autogas vehicles to its fleet. (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Market Intelligence 
  • U.S. propane inventories dipped last week, EIA says
    U.S. propane and propylene inventories took a 300,000-barrel dip last week, settling at 73.6 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said. East Coast supplies registered the biggest decline, falling by 300,000 barrels. Meanwhile, Midwest supplies rose by 100,000, the data showed. Platts (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Companies ramp up generator production
    Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, Cummins and Honda are some of the manufacturers that have increased the production of consumer-level generators in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Along with Generac, these companies are emphasizing the need for permanent generators as power outages continue. "It's basically people saying: 'I never want this [power outage] to happen again.' The awareness of it really changes behaviors," said Melanie Tydrich, senior channel manager of residential generators for Kohler. Bloomberg (11/7), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Research & Development 
  • Geothermal systems as alternative energy source
    Some building owners affected by Hurricane Sandy were urged to shift to geothermal systems that use energy from the ground to heat and cool buildings. However, "the biggest obstacle currently to geothermal energy is the initial cost, which can be more significant than a traditional furnace replacement," said Daniel Goodwin of the Miller Environmental Group. "But from a new construction standpoint, when you look at the numbers and the tax credits and things out there, it really becomes a no-brainer." The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Antero, MarkWest forge joint Utica Shale development deal
    Antero Resources and MarkWest Utica EMG struck a deal to jointly develop properties in Ohio's Utica Shale formation. Under the deal, MarkWest will construct a natural gas liquids gathering system in Antero's Cadiz complex and a processing facility at the Seneca complex in the state. "MarkWest is a natural fit for Antero to partner with in the Utica to build the first processing complex near our acreage position, given their processing and fractionation plans in the Utica and the integration with their leading position in the Marcellus," said Paul Rady, chairman and CEO of Antero. American City Business Journals/Columbus, Ohio (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Safety & Training 
  • Expert: Marketers should boost safety commitment, insurance coverage
    Propane marketers would benefit greatly if they increased their commitment to safety by conducting safety checks and mitigating unaddressed safety issues, writes industry consultant Jay Johnston. Business owners should also consider increasing their insurance coverage so as to protect them from client claims during accidents, he adds. "Successful business owners put a pencil to the safety numbers and put their shoulders to the problem," Johnston writes. (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pre-winter chores: Prep your lawn mowers, snowblowers
    Before you store your lawn mowers for winter, clean them, replace the air filters and drain the gas. And before the first snow falls, check your snowblowers. "If you turn your machine on the day of that first snowfall and realize it doesn?t work, there?s going to be a long line of repairs in front you because you weren?t the only one to wait until the last minute," said Greg Winters, owner of a small engine repair center in Lake Bluff, Ill. WEWS-TV (Cleveland) (11/6), Lake Forester (Ill.) (free registration) (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  PERC News 
  • Free Safety Modules and Brochures Help Customers Use Propane
    The Propane Education & Research Council has many brochures and interactive modules that explain how to use propane safely every day and during rough weather. The material concisely covers such topics as maintaining propane appliances, what to do if you smell propane, power outages, floods, winter storm preparedness and more. The brochures can be printed, and the modules can be e-mailed to customers. Find material that fits your customers. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Propane MaRC to Close Nov. 9 to 15 for Inventory
    The Propane MaRC will be closed for inventory purposes Nov. 9 through 15 and will not be taking orders or shipping items during that time. Order taking will stop at 5 p.m. Eastern time on Nov. 8, and reopen on Nov. 16. While the MaRC is closed please send a message to, or call Kay Howell at 202-452-8975 with any questions or issues regarding an order. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Leadership & Management 
  • Why "pure" democracy is a lousy way to run a company
    There's nothing wrong with injecting a little democracy into your company's management structure, but don't take things too far, warns Steve Tobak. In the modern business climate, there's just no way to run a big firm on a one-person-one-vote basis. "Global markets are competitive, and the qualities, capabilities and information needed to make smart decisions are not equally distributed among the people," Tobak writes. CBS MoneyWatch (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Innovators turn to incubators for help hatching business plans
    Incubators promise to help entrepreneurs get innovative business ideas off the ground, and they can offer valuable advice and business expertise, along with crucial logistical support for startup operators. However, it's important to do due diligence before opting into an incubator scheme. "Just because someone says they can help doesn?t make it true," writes Verne Kopytoff. Bloomberg Businessweek (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Leave other people's mistakes where they lie."
--Marcus Aurelius,
Roman emperor

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About PERC
The Propane Education & Research Council promotes the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy resource. The Council was authorized by Congress with the passage of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), October 11, 1996.

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