I attended last week’s Governmental Affairs Day in Sacramento, speaking out to four elected officials on the propane issues we face on the Hill.

The first was at the open mic following Santa Barbara Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson’s address. I spoke up then because she serves on the Natural Resources and Water Committee. She expressed interest, and I gave her my card with the word “propane” on the back. I plan to follow up.

Though my meeting with Sen. Jeff Stone proved interesting in general, it failed to reap any returns in beginning regulation at the state level. I plan to follow up.

Stone felt an initiative needs to begin at the local level before the state becomes involved. He suggested, for instance, that the two locals CSAs get together and negotiate with the propane companies for all of the communities, settling on the company offering the best deal. Folk may still choose to join the “cooperative” or do business with another propane company.

I disagree. First, this goes against the CSAs’ governmental jurisdictions. They’re simply advisory councils for fire, ambulance, recreation and street lights, nothing else.

Secondly, following my appeal to Sen. Jackson at the main event, I lost count of the number of people who approached me from all across the state frustrated with their propane issues.

These folk expressed delight at my bringing up the issue. That afternoon and through the evening at the event in the Capitol building, people vented their spleens about their propane experiences. They called me the “propane lady.” It’s a state-wide issue.

But in poignant irony, before I returned home Friday, Jack said the @#%$ propane company had failed to fill-up-as-needed. We switched.

Becky Clark, Editor