very true manufacturing is a drag, but ETP is adding pipe capacity, and eventually the economy will pick up. Nat gas is a clean fuel produced in the USA. These factors eventually will lead to a return of higher throughput and will more miles of pipe: more distributable cash.
The original public entity was HPG (Heritage Propane Partners) and was formed in 1996. A reverse merger between Heritage and Energy Transfer which was a privately held entity happened in January of 2004 and the name was changed shortly thereafter. The original distribution was $2.00/unit and on an after split basis are now paying $7.15. Distribution raises started sometime in the early 2000's and escalated after the company became ETP. Although raises have been frequent, not every quarter produces a raise as evidenced by the last 2 quarter distributions announced.