Legislative Information

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Government Affairs Priorities

 

Natural Gas Expansion

Bills that would allow natural gas utilities to expand their infrastructure to serve "underserved" areas of our state had their first hearing in the House Energy Committee. 

HB 4303, sponsored by State Representative Brett Roberts (R-Charlotte), would allow natural gas companies to expand to any part of our state where there is no existing natural gas infrastructure.  In other words, the 80-plus percent of our state residents that are natural gas customers will pay for natural gas utilities to expand their natural gas lines to areas of our state where people chose to live outside the natural gas infrastructure.  

In short, the bill allows for natural gas utilities to expand into portions of our state where propane is used, and it allows natural gas utilities to have all of their expansion costs subsidized by their existing customers!

Needless to say, the Michigan Propane Gas Association (MPGA) absolutely opposes any and all subsidized expansion of natural gas.  The MPGA needs all member companies and all industry employees to engage in this battle.  

Here are a number of items you can do to help:

1) Call your state representatives TODAY where you live, where your employees live, and in areas you service to let them know how bad this legislation is for you, your employees, and your business.  Ask him/her to not support HB 4303 as this legislation is corporate welfare that is anti-small business and promotes unfair competition.  Click here for a sample script to use and/or click here for talking points.

2)  Write your state representatives TODAY where you live, where your employees live, and in areas you service to let them know how bad this legislation is for you, your employees and your business.  Ask him/her to not support HB 4303 as this legislation is corporate welfare that is anti-small business and promotes unfair competition.  Click here for talking points you can use to draft your own letter. 

3)  Make plans now to attend the 2015 Propane Safety Awareness Day at the Michigan State Capitol Lawn on Wednesday, May 20th.

With natural gas legislation now introduced, it is critical that MPGA members attend Propane Safety Awareness Day to call on and meet with your state elected leaders.  It is up to every MPGA member to explain and educate our state legislators on the reasons for the MPGA opposition.  The natural gas legislation will cause more customer loss and negatively impact Michigan propane businesses more than any other issue the MPGA has ever faced.  

4)  Contribute to the Michigan Propane PAC and/or MPGA Advocacy Fund.  Click here to learn more about these tools and contribute online. 

5)  Make plans now to attend the 2015 Midwest Propane Gas Convention.  The 2015 Midwest Convention features a panel of speakers designed to address the natural gas threat to propane throughout our Midwest region.  Natural gas has already been successful in other states; do not let them win here in Michigan!

6)  If you are a member of the Michigan Petroleum Association, the Small Business Association of Michigan, the National Federation of Independent Business, or the Michigan Manufacturers Association, please contact them and encourage them to join the MPGA in opposition to this terrible legislation.

This fight will be tougher and more important than any previous MPGA legislative battle.  The stakes are higher than ever before.  The MPGA needs the entire industry to fight this battle against the very well funded, large and powerful corporate monopolies that are our state's natural gas utilities.  Every propane job is threatened by this natural gas expansion legislation.   


 

Road Funding

Everyone within the MPGA recognizes the challenges and current state of disrepair of Michigan's roads.  As the MPGA relies on Michigan roads, the MPGA also recognizes that the road infrastructure must be adequately funded so that our roads can be repaired and useful.  The MPGA has reviewed a number of the road funding plans rumored among the discussions at the Capitol.  The GAC noted that it is clear that all Michiganders will be paying more in some fashion to make sure our road systems has an increase in funding for capital improvements. 

The MPGA's primary goal was to ensure that no matter what path our elected officials chose to take that there is parity in Michigan for all alternative fuels used for vehicle fuels - including propane.  The MPGA is proud of its effort and accomplishment that ALL alternative fuels are included among the proposed changes for consideration at the May 2015 ballot measure.