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****Please note changes in meeting format, date and times****

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND QUARTERLY MEMBERSHIP MEETING

8:30 - 11:30 am      Executive Committee Meeting
10:30 am               Registration opens in Griswold A/B
11:30 am -Noon     PERC Committee Meeting in Griswold C/D
Noon - 1:00 pm      Committee Meetings in Griswold C/D
1:00 - 1:30 pm        Lunch in Griswold C/D
1:30 - 3:30 pm        Business Meeting in Griswold A/B 

Registration fee is $50 per person and includes lunch. 

Click here to register 

 Please make hotel reservations through the Holiday Inn Worthington at 614.436.0700. The OPGA Room rate is $ 89.00 

MEETING LOCATION

Holiday Inn  Worthington
7007 North High St.
Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-436-0700

The highest share of households that use propane as a primary winter heating fuel is in the Midwest. Propane use for space heating is also significant in the Northeast. EIA expects households heating primarily with propane to spend less this winter, but the projected decrease varies across regions. EIA expects that households heating with propane in the Midwest will spend an average of $767 (34%) less this winter than last winter, reflecting prices that are about 24% lower and consumption that is 13%. Households in the Northeast are expected to spend an average of $340 (13%) less this winter, with average prices that are about 5% lower and consumption that is 9% lower than last winter. Last year, a particularly large and wet corn crop in the fall increased demand for propane used in crop drying, reducing inventories in the Midwest. Severely cold temperatures followed the corn harvest and also contributed to high propane prices in the Midwest. As of September 26, propane inventories in the Midwest were 28.0 million barrels, slightly above the five-year average and 3.7 million barrels higher than at the same time last year.  

Despite higher inventories, the outlook for propane is uncertain. The amount of propane used to process the record corn crop expected this fall will depend on both the weather and commodity prices. Following the harvest, winter temperature outcomes will directly drive the amount of propane used for space heating. Changes in propane supply infrastructure since last winter are another source of uncertainty. The Cochin Pipeline, which previously delivered propane from Canada into the Midwest, was reversed in early 2014. While this reversal will limit the ability to deliver propane into the region, higher propane production from gas plants in the Midwest and new and expanded rail terminals should help to supply propane to the region this winter.


U.S. propane stocks increased by 1.9 million barrels last week to 74.7 million barrels as of August 22, 2014, 12.6 million barrels (20.4%) higher than a year ago. Gulf Coast inventories increased by 1.0 million barrels and Midwest inventories increased by 0.6 million barrels. East Coast inventories and Rocky Mountain/ West Coast inventories both increased by 0.1 million barrels. Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 5.0% of total propane inventories.

U.S. propane stocks increased by 2.5 million barrels last week to 72.8 million barrels as of August 15, 2014, 10.9 million barrels (17.7%) higher than a year ago. Gulf Coast inventories increased by 1.2 million barrels and Midwest inventories increased by 1.1 million barrels. East Coast inventories increased by 0.2 million barrels while Rocky Mountain/ West Coast inventories remained unchanged. Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 5.5% of total propane inventories.

Last winter, high propane prices, low inventories and logistical and infrastructure challenges prompted emergency measures to address propane supply shortfalls in the Midwest. Given the severity of last winter's supply challenges, market participants are paying close attention to the adequacy of propane supplies to meet agricultural and heating demands this coming season. While the high-demand season is still some months away, an analysis of propane inventory levels, along with an assessment of propane prices and changes in infrastructure and supply flows, provides some insight into the emerging supply picture.

Midwest propane inventories have an annual cycle, with builds occurring from April through September, in advance of the harvest and heating seasons, followed by draws in October through March. Both the level of inventories and the weekly build rate are useful metrics in assessing inventories as of early August. While inventory levels in the Midwest remain below the five-year average, above-average builds over the past six weeks are an encouraging trend. Last year, propane inventories in the Midwest (PADD 2) for the week ending August 9 were 21.5 million barrels, 3.4 million barrels below the five-year average. This year, PADD 2 propane inventories for the week ending August 8 are 23.4 million barrels, 1.9 million barrels higher than last year, but still 1.6 million barrels below the five-year average. However, in each of the past six weeks, PADD 2 propane inventory builds have surpassed their five-year averages, leading to a steady improvement in stock levels relative to their historical norms (Figure 1).
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Safety Grants also Expanded 

The Kasich administration is expanding its “Billion Back” program with another $1 billion in premium rebates to policyholders of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). The money adds to the first $1 billion awarded in 2013 and another $1.2 billion in employer credits to be issued next year as part of the bureau’s switch to prospective billing.

Kasich and BWC Administrator/CEO Stephen Buehrer said strong investment returns rather than employer overpayments are driving the current rebate to roughly 184,000 companies and 3,800 public employers.

“Sound fiscal management and a well-executed investment strategy continue to put BWC in a position where it can return money to its customers -- Ohio’s employers -- but also to workers in the form of initiatives that help them stay safe on the job,” the governor said at Columbus staffing agency Portfolio Creative, which credited the administration for its small business support. "Ohio continues its effort to transform the workers’ comp system to be a better partner with employers and workers to help them succeed and stay safe, and the ability to make these types of significant rebates is part of that effort,” said Kasich.

The governor first proposed the billion-dollar rebate program in May 2013 for approval by the BWC Board of Directors later that month.  It became “Two Billion Back” last fall with the announced switch to prospective billing, which kicks off next spring with a six-month credit to BWC employers. 

As summer closes for the community children, it’s time for those yellow school busses to start their yearly pilgrimage.

As the morning light stays asleep longer, the ease of seeing those little tots will diminish. 

 

The following are tips to remember. 

How to Drive Safely Around Children Drivers can avoid harming child pedestrians by learning and following a few simple traffic safety rules. 

1.    Look carefully for children on foot or on bicycles when backing out of a driveway or exiting a garage. 

2.    Slow down and be alert for children in neighborhoods with school zones. 

3.    Be on the lookout for children walking in streets that lack sidewalks. 

4.    Watch for children playing near or waiting at bus stops. 

5.    Drive carefully in neighborhoods where children might dart out from behind a parked car, either on foot or on a bike. 

6.    Observe the flashing signal lights that school buses use to warn drivers. Flashing yellow signals an imminent stop, while flashing red means the bus is loading or unloading children. Drivers must stop their cars until the red lights stop flashing and the bus starts moving again.

 7.    All states require the traffic in both directions to stop on undivided highways when students are getting on or off a school bus. While wording varies from state to state, generally the law requires the following: The school bus driver activates flashing yellow lights to indicate the school bus is preparing to stop to load or unload students. At this point, motorists should slow down and prepare to stop. The school bus driver activates flashing red lights and extends the stop arm to indicate the school bus has stopped and students are getting on or off. At this point, motorists should stop. State law varies in what is required on a divided highway and what constitutes a divided highway. However, in all cases on divided highways, traffic behind the bus must stop.

 

 

In Ohio; Vehicles inside and outside municipalities must stop while school bus loading or unloading or red flashing signals are on. 

1.         When a school bus driver is preparing to stop the bus, he or she activates four amber lights-two on the front and two on the rear of the bus.  These lights continue to flash until the bus is fully stopped.  Other vehicles are not required to stop during the preliminary stage of the eight light warning but should prepare to stop as soon as the bus comes to a full stop.  When the bus comes to a complete stop, the amber lights stop flashing and four red lights automatically extended beneath the window on the left side of the bus. 

2.         If the bus is stopped on a street or road which has fewer than four lanes, all traffic approaching the bus from either direction must stop at least 10 feet from the front or rear of the bus and remain stopped until the bus begins to move or the bus driver signals motorist to proceed. 

3.         If the bus is stopped on a street or road, which has four or more lanes, only traffic proceeding in the same direction as the bus must stop. 

Reduce your speed and continue driving with caution. Separate or divided roadways are roads that are divided by physical barriers such as metal median barriers (guiderails), concrete median barriers, and non-mountable curbs. Other examples of divided highways include separate roadways that have clearly indicated dividing sections such as strips of grass, a stream, trees and shrubs, rocks and boulders, or concrete mountable curbs. 

How to Drive in School Zones; It's easy to forget what it's like to be a kid. But drivers, especially when they're in school zones, always need to remember how children think and act around traffic.

1.    Slow down. Don't speed around schools or in neighborhoods. 

2.    Watch for school zones. 

3.    Expect the unexpected. A child's reaction to danger differs from that of an adult. Sometimes the approach of a car will prompt a child to run faster across the street instead of staying on the sidewalk as an adult may do. 

 

4.    Expect what's to be expected, too. When a ball or a dog goes into the street, look for a child to follow. 

5.    Scan from side to side to stay aware of children playing on the sidewalk or along the road. Because their eyesight and hearing are still developing, children may not always sense when a moving car presents danger. In fact, a surprising number of youngsters become injured running into the sides of cars. 

 

6.    Be alert in parking lots. The street is not the only place of danger. The combination of kids, buses and cars trigger a lot of incidents in school parking lots and driveways.

 

Don't let your guard down.

By Bob Downing 

Beacon Journal staff writer

 

Plans for a pipeline to carry natural-gas liquids from Ohio to the Gulf Coast are progressing.

Dubbed the Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline Project, the pipeline is being developed by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and its partner, MarkWest Utica EMG LLC. It is designed to serve the Utica and Marcellus shale regions in Ohio and surrounding states.

 

New details for the project, first announced in August, have emerged on a fact sheet posted on Kinder Morgan’s website.

The pipeline would run from a proposed natural-gas processing plant in Uhrichsville in southern Tuscarawas County to Mont Belvieu, Texas.

 

The new processing plant and pipeline are estimated to cost $1 billion, although no figures have been posted.

 

The project calls for converting 1,005 miles of Kinder Morgan’s 24-inch and 26-inch Tennessee Gas Pipeline system, switching it from carrying natural gas to transporting related liquids such as ethane, butane and propane.

 

The existing pipeline runs from Mercer County in western Pennsylvania to Natchitoches, La. A new line, stretching about 200 miles, would be built from Natchitoches to Mont Belvieu.

 

The project also includes about 160 miles of new laterals and interconnects in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.

 

The pipeline would have an initial capacity of 150,000 barrels per day. That would be expanded to 400,000 barrels per day with the addition of pump stations.

 

The new pipeline is scheduled to be in full service by the second quarter of 2017.

 

Houston-based Kinder Morgan would own 75 percent of the liquids pipeline and Denver-based MarkWest Utica EMG would have the option to invest in the remaining 25 percent.

 

Kinder Morgan would operate the new pipeline.

 

That company also formed a partnership with Houston-based Targa Resources Partners LP to build a fractionation facility to separate liquids at Mont Belvieu.

 

In related news, TransCanada Corp.’s ANR Pipeline Co. is conducting an open sign-up season through July 28 for its proposed ANR East Pipeline across northern Ohio.

 

The pipeline would run from gas-processing facilities in Columbiana and Carroll counties in eastern Ohio to near Defiance in northwest Ohio, where it would connect with existing and proposed pipelines to the Gulf Coast and to Detroit, Ontario and the Midwest.

 

 

The pipeline, scheduled to be operational in the third quarter of 2017, would improve access to Utica gas to 35 Midwest utilities that generate electricity and either burn natural gas or could switch to natural gas in the future.

GPS was placed in its bracket in the windshield and left in the sun. The battery overheated and exploded!

Looks like a good lesson to learn.

This could also apply to Cell phones, tablets, digital cameras, and other devices that use lithium batteries.

The US Postal Service will no longer ship electronic devices that contain lithium batteries. This may be a reason why.

 

 

See the images below for a look at the damage!

 

This week’s Safety message submitted by: Andy Nader, Safety And Training Coordinator, The Energy Cooperative.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_b2ap3_thumbnail_OPGA-Logo2.jpgLet's get the whole family together for an out-of-the-ordinary fun-filled experience!  Bring your children and grandchildren to enjoy the vibrant world of Sawmill Creek!  

The beautiful Sawmill Creek Resort is conveniently located just off Route 2.   Contact Sawmill Creek Resort at 1-800-729-6455 or visit their website: www.SawmillCreekResorts.com. 

 

Arriving at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron/Sandusky, Ohio, you immediately sense the beauty of this special place. Nestled on the shores of Lake Erie, the 240 room Lodge, 18-hole Tom Fazio Golf course are set on 235 acres of affordable luxury. Three restaurants, marina, shops, pools, beautiful lakefront sand beach and a 500 acre nature preserve will satisfy your resort expectations set in a region of Ohio's largest tourism attractions and islands. 

 

There is no better place to enjoy Summer than when golfing, biking or hiking at Sawmill Creek Resort. Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve is the last remaining Ohio example of a Great Lakes coastal wetland; adjacent to Sawmill Creek Resort, and part of our trail walk.  Cattails and wildlife flourish here, along with kingfishers, egrets and, blanding turtles. This superlative mix of habitats provides for one of Ohio's premiere birding location.  

 

Area attractions include Cedar Point, Marblehead Light House, African Wildlife Safari, fishing, boating, wineries, and the many Lake Erie Islands!

 

The Ohio House Commerce, Labor and Technology Committee held a hearing May 28 on HB 140, which would require licensure of residential construction contractors and create a Residential Builders' and Maintenance and Alteration Contractors' Licensing Board to regulate the licensure and performance of residential construction contractors.  The bill does not apply to electric, plumbing and heating, ventilating and air conditioning contractors licensed under Section 4740 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Rep. Patmon, the bill's sponsor, gave details about the changes included in a proposed substitute bill and said they came about because of an interested party meeting.

The substantive change, the sponsor said, included adding people from the industry to the licensing board. After he briefly discussed discussed caveat emptor, or "buyer beware," with Chairman Young, the substitute bill was accepted without objection.

After the action was taken on the bill, members of the committee peppered Patmon with questions about its specifics.

Patmon told Rep. DeVitis most fraud cases and violations occur between the $25,000 and $100,000 range, and he told Rep. Barborak that the bill does not change existing law in regard to "do-it-yourself" projects.

Rep. Damschroder asked about the kind of guarantee a consumer has if the consumer hires a licensed contractor over an unlicensed one. Patmon explained passing a test would be required to obtain a license.

The two discussed whether and where the dividing line between a "contractor" and a "handy-man" would be drawn, and the possibility of a contractor only doing work outside a certain geographical limit being required to have a license. Barborak also asked about the dividing line between a contractor and his subcontractors.

An appeals court has taken the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to task in an unusually harsh, 3-0 ruling this week that largely upheld a lower court decision ordering the agency to refund nearly $860 million to certain employers.

 

Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals in Cleveland said the trial court correctly determined that the BWC operated an unlawful rating system that granted excessive premium discounts to employers participating in the group rating system at the expense of nongroup-rated businesses.  

“Reduced to its irreducible essence, this appeal is about a cabal of Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation bureaucrats and lobbyists for group sponsors who rigged workers’ compensation insurance premium rates so that for employers who participated in the BWC’s group rating plan (‘group-rated employers’), it was ‘heads we win,’ and for employers who did not participate in the group rating plan (‘nongroup-rated employers’), it was ‘tails you lose,’” Judge Kenneth Rocco said in the decision. 

 “For more than 15 years, the BWC allowed nongroup-rated employers to subsidize excessive, undeserved premium discounts to group-rated employers who were handpicked by group sponsors to participate in the BWC’s group rating plan. The temerity of the group sponsors, untempered by any notions of equity from or of the BWC, exacted a heavy price for nongroup-rated employers – over $859 million.”

 The BWC’s group rating programs, which are sponsored by local and statewide business groups, offer participants’ employees workplace safety training and gives employers significant savings on workers’ compensation premiums.

Judge Rocco said the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court was right to order the BWC to refund the overcharges the bureau unlawfully collected from non-group employers, but remanded the case back to the lower court to recalculate the award to account for class members who at times participated in the group rating system between 2001 and 2008.

Appeals court Judges Eileen Gallagher and Mary Eileen Kilbane concurred in the decision. 

Last week’s primary election was generally positive for free enterprise in Ohio. Of the 21 pro-business candidates endorsed by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee (OCCPaC), 20 won their races and will now compete in the General Election. Additionally, State Issue 1 passed easily with 65 percent of the vote.

 

The endorsed candidates who claimed victory were bolstered by the chamber’s active involvement in their races, with all winning by margins of at least eight points. Rep. Peter Stautberg, whose district covers eastern Hamilton County, was the sole endorsed candidate to come up short, losing to former state representative Tom Brinkman 54-46 percent. The race was a rematch from the 2012 primary, which Rep. Stautberg won easily with 61 percent of the vote. Over twice as many ballots were cast two years ago though, and it was the low turnout that helped push Brinkman over the top this time.

Voter turnout was low across the state, with only about 17 percent of registered voters casting ballots. Though most incumbents were able to fend off challenges, there were two who lost, in addition to Rep. Stautberg. Republican Rep. Pete Beck, who has been indicted on 69 felony charges, took less than 10 percent of the vote in a three-way primary won by real estate developer Paul Zeltwanger. The only other incumbent to lose was Democrat Rep. Zack Milkovich, who lost to assistant Akron prosecutor Greta Johnson. That’s the second loss in a row for Rep. Milkovich, who had made an unsuccessful bid for Barberton clerk of courts last November.

Though he didn’t lose, Rep. Rex Damschroder is another incumbent who will not be returning to the General Assembly next year. He was forced to withdraw from the race due to faulty petitions, leaving no GOP candidates on the ballot and resulting in an unusual write-in contest featuring three aspirants. Car dealer Bill Reineke defeated Rep. Damschroder’s wife Rhonda to win the nomination.

 

Another important result for Ohio’s economy was the passage of State Issue 1, renewal of the State Capital Improvements Program. The ballot issue received an abundance of support from many organizations around the state. It authorizes $1.875 billion toward infrastructure improvement and repair projects across Ohio over the next 10 years. The program has been around for 27 years, having already financed 11,500 projects that are critical for economic growth and development. 

The staff of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation on Tuesday proposed a 6.3% reduction in the premium rates charged to private employers.

 

If approved by the bureau’s board of directors, the cut would represent the eighth straight year in which premiums have fallen or remained steady.

“BWC has challenged itself to be part of the solution to Ohio’s economic recovery by keeping employers’ workers’ compensation rates affordable so they can prosper,” BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer said in a statement. “While we’re pleased with this trend of lower and more stable rates for employers, we’re also tremendously pleased with our progress in fulfilling our mission to provide the highest quality care and return-to-work services to Ohioans who suffer workplace injuries."

The reduction is based largely on better-than-expected claim frequency and severity, according to BWC.

The agency said the proposed private sector rate cut would result in a reduction of $91 million in premium payments compared to the current rate.

Private sector rates fell by 2.1% in 2013, were steady in 2012 and dropped by 4% in 2011, BWC added.

“The most successful employers are those that understand safe and healthy employees are instrumental to a strong bottom line,” Mr. Buehrer said. “Going forward, BWC will be intensely focused on the issue of workplace safety and educating employers about the benefits of investing in injury and illness prevention.”

The proposal is expected to be considered at the bureau’s next board meeting on May 22.

U.S. propane stocks increased by 0.9 million barrels last week to 26.6 million barrels as of March 28, 2014, 13.2 million barrels (33.1%) lower than a year ago. Midwest inventories increased by 0.5 million barrels and Gulf Coast inventories increased by 0.4 million barrels. Rocky Mountain/West Coast inventories and East Coast inventories both remained unchanged. Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 12.5% of total propane inventories up.

Requirements  for training in the proper handling  and operational procedures of propane related work assignments has been  included in every edition of NFPA 58 since the very early 1930’s.  

Over the year the codes have been strengthened and reiterated.   Examples of these requirements can be found in various editions of NFPA 58 in Section 4.4.   Since 1992 this training and subsequent refresher training must be documented.    

Since 2001 Refresher Training has been mandated on a 3-year cycle.  Section 4.4.3 of the latest edition of NFPA states:  REFRESHER TRAINING SHALL BE PROVIDED AT LEAST EVEY THREE YEARS.

The 2014 Edition of NFPA LP-GAS CODE HANDBOOK edited by DENISE BEACH, Senior Engineer, NFPA on page 53 reads as follows: “The requirement for refresher training every three years recognizes that ongoing reinforcement of training is needed, especially for task that are not normally part of the job function, but that the employee may be called on to do.   For example, a bobtail driver may occasionally be called on to fill cylinders at a dispensing station at the propane company’s plant.  The driver clearly must have been trained on filling stationary tanks, but must also be trained to fill cylinders”.

The 2014 Edition of NFPA 58, page 53, requires all persons whose duties fall within the scope of the code to be trained in accordance with their job function.

We all know that that most propane industry employees are cross trained in more than one discipline.  Therefore it stands to reason that refresher training should cover all assignments the employee may be called upon to perform at any given time.  With that in mind, OPGA is offering a two day refresher training course with a written exam and documentation of training to facilitate Member Companies with the requirements as described in NFPA 58 The LP-GAS CODE HANDBOOK.

The two day training is formatted into two separate sessions to cover many of the work assignments within the propane industry.

For instance Day 1 of the refresher training is broken down to review Propane Basics Principles and Practices; OSHA and PPE, Fire Extinguisher Training Review, Basic Plant Operations Review, Pump Operations, High Priority Service Calls for Gas Odors and Leak Checks, General Safe Driving Procedures for Propane Delivery Vehicles and Handling Propane Emergencies.

Day 2 the refresher training is presented to review Propane Cylinder Inspections and Requalification’s and Labeling, NFPA required Propane Distribution Lines, Fittings and Regulators, Importance of Ventilation for Propane Fired Appliances, ASME Tank inspections prior to setting, prior to refilling and during a leak check, Purging and Flaring Propane Containers, Methanol Injections, Evacuating ASME Containers on site, Installing ASME Tanks and conducting Pressure Checks on New Distribution Lines, Flow Pressure and Lock Up Testing of Regulators.

Each day of Training has a 50 Question written exam upon conclusion of the seminar.

This training, as well as the ongoing in-house Safety Training Program of the member companies, CETP classes and documented on the job training will assist the propane industry employer with compliance of the NFPA 58, USDOT and OSHA Refresher Training requirements.

The importance of documentation of training cannot be over stated.  If it isn’t documented, it is difficult to prove it happen.

Participation in these two Refresher Training sessions is an easy, useful and verifiable training venue for your propane company to take advantage of.  Two separate two day sessions are scheduled in one week.  With sufficient interest from member companies additional training dates can be added, however a minimum of 7 registered attendees is required to conduct the training. 

Dear Industry Colleague: 

TELL YOUR SENATORS YOU SUPPORT A TWO-YEAR EXTENSION OF THE
50 CENT PER GALLON ALTERNATIVE FUEL TAX CREDIT (Section 6426(d))     AND
THE REFUELING INFRASTRUCTURE TAX CREDIT (Section 30c)

  

NPGA just has learned that the Senate Finance Committee will markup a tax extenders bill next Wednesday, April 2, 2014

 

It is imperative that you contact both your Senators as soon as possible.

  

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator's office.  

 

Click here to find your U.S. Senators. 

 

Here are some talking points you can use when you get through to the office:

  

1.       Introduce yourself as a constituent from the state and ask for the          

          staffer handling tax issues.  If  unavailable, ask for the energy staffer.

 

2.       When you get through to the staffer:

 

a.    Introduce yourself and your company again and state your interest in the Senate Finance Committee's markup of the tax extenders bill.

 

b. State that you are calling specifically about the extension of alternative fuel tax credits that currently include propane (aka liquefied petroleum gas)

 

c.   Urge the Senator to support a two-year extension of:                                  

 

i. The 50 cent per gallon alternative fuel tax credit covered in tax code Section 6426(d)

 

ii.  The refueling infrastructure tax credit covered in tax code Section 30(c).

 

3.  These tax credits are very important for the alternative fuel vehicle sector. They will spur growth of clean alternatives to gasoline and diesel, and they will help reduce harmful emissions.

 

4.       If your Senator is a Democrat, it is very important that you urge him or her to express support directly to Senator Wyden's office.

 

5.       If your Senator is a Republican, have them contact Senator Hatch's office to express support for your requests.

 

 6.       It will be very helpful if you would let us know the reaction you receive to  your phone calls, so email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Thank you for your help!  Every contact is critical! 

 

The Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed the Vehicle Conversion Bill, HB 336, March 26.  The bill would create the Gaseous Fuel Vehicle Conversion Program which would create several financial incentives for the purchase of conversion or alternative fueled vehicles (AFVs). These include grants for state agencies, political subdivisions, school districts, public transportation systems and nonprofit corporations. The legislation would also create tax credits for the purchase or conversion of alternative fueled vehicles by private businesses and consumers. Grants and tax credits would be capped at three different levels based on vehicle weight class. 

 

Both natural gas vehicles and propane autogas vehicles would be eligible. In addition, there is a $500 tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles. These incentives are temporary, expiring after five years.

 

Propane marketers and other Ohio businesses could better avoid the damaging effects of state agency regulations if “no change” departmental rules are subjected to the same standards as new rules. Senate Bill 3 would do that and would also plug other important gaps in Ohio’s regulatory oversight process, including subjecting any rule-making by the five statewide elective offices to a business impact analysis.   

Existing Ohio law requires all 15,000+ rules in the state’s administrative code to be reviewed every five years and filed with the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR). If the state agency reviewing the rule doesn’t make any changes, it is called a five-year “no change” review. In 2011, the Common Sense Initiative Office (CSI) was created to independently evaluate the economic impact of state agency regulations on businesses and to reduce that impact wherever possible. However, the legislation creating CSI did not include “no change” rules in the CSI review process. SB 3 corrects that omission and requires “no change” rules with an adverse impact on business to first be sent through the CSI process before being filed with JCARR.

SB 3 would ensure that compliance with state regulations is as easy and inexpensive as possible and that proposed rules facilitate rather than hinder economic growth, are transparent and responsive, and are enforced fairly and consistently. Testifying to CSI’s effectiveness is the fact  that of the 1,543 regulations reviewed in 2013, 59% were either rescinded or amended and thus revised toward a more business-friendly outcome. 

Currently, over one-fourth of all rules filed are “no change” rules and, under today’s system, are not subject to a business impact analysis. Some of these rules have been on the books for decades and have significant costs associated with them. Having “no change” rules become subject to the same process as new rules, as intended by SB 3, will cut down on government red tape and foster greater continuity, transparency and fairness. 

Ohio PERC has announced the 2014 CETP Class schedule. Please visit http://www.ohiopropanegas.org/cetp for schedule and registration details. 

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