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November 21, 2012
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News for and about the propane industry

  Top Story 
  Market Intelligence 
  • UGI to buy BP's LPG business in Poland
    UGI recently announced that its subsidiary Flaga will buy BP's liquefied petroleum gas distribution business in Poland. The BP unit, which serves the commercial, residential and vehicle market segments, distributed more than 150 million gallons of LPG last year, UGI said. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. American City Business Journals/Philadelphia (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sales of existing U.S. homes increase
    Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. increased 11% last month compared with October 2011, the National Association of Realtors said. The inventory of unsold homes shrank to its smallest in a decade. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder sentiment this month shows that confidence is at its highest level in six years. Google/The Associated Press (11/19), Bloomberg (11/19), (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Middle East adjusts to U.S. petrochemical competitiveness
    Petrochemical producers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states are moving toward value-added products as the U.S. becomes a major producer of shale-based ethane feedstock, according to this analysis. "It is highly likely that in the next 10 years there will be more new crackers built in North America than in the Mideast, because low-cost feedstock is available in the United States and it is not in the GCC countries," said Tony Potter of IHS Chemical. Chemical Week (subscription required) (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research & Development 
  • Methane can help environment, but it poses risks
    Methane gas burns cleaner than other fossil fuels, which means the environment could benefit if it is used more often, Marianne Lavelle writes. However, methane that gets released into the atmosphere can accelerate global warming. "Just how warm Earth gets this century will hinge in part on how we balance the good and bad of methane -- on how much of it we capture and burn, and how much we inadvertently let loose," Lavelle writes. National Geographic (12/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Industry is benefiting from shale boom, execs say
    Industry executives believe that a surge in shale oil and natural gas production is transforming the energy sector but could also affect conventional crude prices. Last week, the International Energy Agency reported that a shale production boom would help the U.S. become the largest oil producer in the world by 2017. "We are facing a revolution, from North America," said Christophe de Margerie, chairman and CEO of Total. IndustryWeek/Agence France-Presse (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Safety & Training 
  • N.C. utility conducts safety training for first responders
    Blue Ridge Electric Membership in Watauga County, N.C., recently held a safety training program for local firefighters and emergency responders. "Firefighters and first responders work hard to keep us safe, and we're proud to offer these opportunities to help them stay safe," said Steve Woodring, Blue Ridge Electric operations manager. High Country Press (Boone, N.C.) (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  PERC News 
  • Building a Market for Alternative Fuels
    A new Propane Today blog spotlights a column on the right way the U.S. can build a market for alternative fuels that was written by Roy Willis, president and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council. Other nations have succeeded when they empowered their citizens to choose a fuel that best meets their needs, he writes. Read the Give Thanks and Empower Citizens with an Energy Policy blog and click through to Roy's column. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Free Severe Weather Guides Available
    A number of handy guides are available for customers as they deal with the aftermath of severe weather events. These briefs provide a Q&A checklist of how to respond to floods, power outages, winter storms, thunderstorms and other events. Visit Weather Events in the website from the Propane Education & Research Council. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Leadership & Management 
  • Why bosses should find their "off button"
    Leaders shouldn't be afraid to turn off their smartphones and iPads, write Henry Mintzberg and Peter Todd, as digital distractions make it harder for bosses to relate to their workers effectively. "By giving managers the illusion of control, the rapid flow of information through new technologies threatens to rob them of real control," the pair write. Strategy+Business magazine (free registration) (Winter 2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Critical thinking isn't just for college professors
    Smart bosses teach workers to think critically about the challenges they face, writes Joel Garfinkle. That means encouraging them to ask the right questions and to have confidence in their thought processes. "Continue to encourage employees to act independently ... and they will reward you and the company with sound decisions based on logic and common sense," Garfinkle writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Thursday and Friday
    In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., SmartBrief will not be published Thursday and Friday. Publication will resume Monday. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'thank you,' that would suffice."
--Meister Eckhart,
German theologian and philosopher

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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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