Law Proposes Bipartisan, Common Sense Solution Addressing the PERC Restriction

Washington, DC (November 13, 2014) – Today, Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) and Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN) introduced legislation to reinstate the propane industry’s ability to use its own resources to educate consumers.  The Propane Education and Research Enhancement Act of 2014 amends the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) to update the data that must be used to calculate a critical price comparison.

Under PERA, the Department of Commerce (DOC) must calculate annually the price for “consumer grade propane” and compare it with an index of prices of specified competing fuels.  If the price of propane exceeds a certain threshold, the industry is restricted from conducting most educational outreach activities.  In 2009, due to a misinterpretation of the law by the DOC, the restriction was triggered and all educational outreach ceased.

Richard Roldan, NPGA’s President and CEO, explains, “Last winter, during the hardest winter our nation has faced in more than 25 years, the propane industry could not educate consumers on the steps necessary to prepare their propane-heated homes for the winter.  The restriction is senseless and it’s harming consumers.”

While the law requires DOC to recalculate the price comparison every six months, it has only been completed three times in the last five years.  The PEREA bill would specify Congressional intent that DOC must use data reflecting all propane sectors, not just residential

“It is time for a common sense solution,” said Roldan.  “I’m looking forward to working with Congress and seeing this bipartisan bill signed into law.”