Jeff Stewart Assumes Leadership as Chair of NPGA’s Board, Advocating for Propane Industry’s Future

Jeff Stewart has stepped into the role of chair of the National Propane Gas Association’s (NPGA) board of directors, receiving accolades as the right person at the right time to lead the propane industry forward.

Stewart, the third-generation owner of Blue Star Gas, brings firsthand experience of the electrification movement and an in-depth understanding of the propane industry’s regulatory landscape. A California native with business operations spanning five western states, he has been a vocal advocate and active volunteer in addressing industry challenges.

His contributions include guiding the development of the Propane Education & Research Council’s Energy for Everyone campaign, negotiating with the California Air Resources Board on propane’s treatment within the state’s low carbon fuel standard, and providing technical input on renewable propane. Blue Star Gas has been selling renewable propane since 2017, offering it in California, Oregon, and Washington.

During his swearing-in at NPGA’s mid-year board meeting in Washington, D.C., Stewart, who previously served as chair of the Western Propane Gas Association and has been a long-standing member of the Pacific Propane Gas Association (PPGA), highlighted the present reality and promising future of the industry.

He emphasized the need for proactive action, stating that the industry must aggressively position propane through legislative and regulatory engagement and explore aggressive legal action – a relatively new strategy.

Earlier this year, Blue Star Gas and the PPGA joined a coalition of trade associations, union representatives, businesses, and homeowners in a lawsuit challenging the Washington State Building Code Council’s new codes restricting propane and natural gas use in new construction. NPGA is now considering similar tactics to protect energy choices.

Recognizing the varying nature of the propane business across the country, Stewart intends to use his upcoming travels to state and regional association meetings to unite the industry in the face of electrification. He aims to foster discussions that enhance members’ understanding of the regulatory environment impacting propane businesses.

Stewart also advocates for change within the industry, urging propane marketers to reassess their business models and adapt them to contribute to a more balanced energy-choice reality. He believes training the industry on power generators, combined heat and power systems, autogas fleet opportunities, and appliance sales strategies are crucial.

“We must sell products that use propane,” Stewart asserts, highlighting the importance of this fundamental principle. He encourages industry-wide discussions, ranging from leadership boardroom conversations between prominent members to local gatherings, employee training sessions, and company break rooms talks.

Over the next year, Stewart plans to initiate these discussions, emphasizing that all companies must devise plans that meet the country’s future energy needs regardless of size.

Alongside Jeff Stewart, NPGA elected Tom Van Buren as chair-elect, Michael Hopsicker as vice chair, and DD Alexander as treasurer, signaling a cohesive and dedicated leadership team for the association’s continued progress.

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