PROPANE ASSOCIATION ATTACKS CITY REGULATION
The House Energy Resources Committee met on Friday, April 30, 2010, to consider an interim charge regarding the establishment of uniform statutes relating to liquid petroleum gas. In addition to regulation of propane gas by the Texas Railroad Commission, current law allows cities to regulate propane, and cities do so in varying ways based on their specific location and topography. These municipal regulations naturally result in local rules that vary from city to city. This fact led to objections from the Texas Propane Gas Association (TPGA) at the hearing.
During the April 30 hearing, the TPGA executive director objected to these regulatory inconsistencies and stated support for propane “regulation that is rigorous, consistent, rational, and science-based as set forth in the International Fire Code, NFPA 58, and the rules and regulations of the Railroad Commission of Texas.” Leonard Smith, a representative of the TPGA, explained the association’s desire to establish an end to local rules that deviate from national, international, and statewide standards and cited five cities as having “unreasonable, inconsistent and unfair local rules” (such as an ordinance allowing the use of propane to heat pools, but not homes). The TPGA also proposes to abolish local regulations that demonstrate a bias or preference for a form of energy other than propane gas (such as one city’s ordinance prohibiting the use of propane where natural gas is available within 200 feet).
Local flexibility is essential in this area, and municipalities need the continued ability to regulate propane gas based on location and topography in order to ensure public health, safety, and welfare. TML will continue to monitor this issue as it pertains to Texas cities. To listen to the House Energy Resources Committee’s discussion of propane regulation, please CLICK HERE.