It all started with a minor update in the Martha’s Vineyard Times: A 2,500-gallon propane tank had been approved for the vacation home owned by Barack and Michelle Obama. The notice had hosts at Fox News wondering: Were the Obamas preparing a shelter to bunker in?

With the help of several propane experts, reporter Claudine Zap put those concerns to rest. As it turns out, the request was to add a single 500-gallon tank that brings the total up to 2,500 gallons, which is spread out and used for multiple structures. Builders who are familiar with large custom homes fueled by propane may know that 2,500 gallons of propane storage isn’t particularly unusual.

“Given the size of the property, we have several accounts that have that exact configuration,” Rich Muellerleile, president and owner of Star Gas Products, which services the Hudson Valley area of New York, told Zap. Some high-end clients can have three or four 1,000-gallon tanks, with separate tanks for the generator or the pool heater.

Bryan Cordill, director of residential and commercial business development for the Propane Education & Research Council, added that the Obamas are making a climate-favorable decision by fueling their home with on-site propane. “Propane is cleaner than grid electricity in many states, including Massachusetts,” he told Zap. “Using propane to fuel energy-dense applications in homes produces fewer emissions than if they had been powered by electricity.”

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