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PMAA's weekly update on important national industry issues.

 
PMAA's Weekly Review - September 26, 2014  [WR-14-38]

 

 

In This Issue:
 

PMAA OUTLINES RFS LIMITATIONS FOR OMB

 

FRANCHISE ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO NLRB

 

MARYLAND ASSOCIATION NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE

 

TOBACCO ADVERTISING LETTER FROM FDA

 

BANKS CONTINUE TO REAP EXCESSIVE INTERCHANGE FEE PROFITS

 

TRANSPORTATION SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR CALLS AGAIN FOR VMT

 

PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: FEDERATED INSURANCE


 

 
 

 
 

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PMAA OUTLINES RFS LIMITATIONS FOR OMB

This week, PMAA met with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials and laid out the obstacles gasoline retailers face when attempting to offer blends of ethanol that exceed E10 and the realities of the ethanol blend wall. PMAA supports ethanol use but there are significant financial and regulatory issues, especially with E15. There are retailer liability issues that also need to be resolved. PMAA submitted survey results from a few key states showing a downward trend in the already small number of retailers who are selling E85.

PMAA past chairman Matt Bjornson flew in from North Dakota to participate in the meeting and his “hands- on" petroleum marketing experience resonated well with the officials. PMAA thanks Matt for his dedication to the industry and his perseverance in educating policy makers about the jobber/retailer segment of the liquid fuels chain  

FRANCHISE ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board's decision to consider McDonald's a joint employer of all workers has motivated the franchise industry to accelerate efforts to educate lawmakers.

Last week over 360 members of the International Franchise Association (IFA) flew to Washington, D.C. to meet with Members of Congress and express concerns about the NLRB decision.

"This joint employee-employer thing, if that goes through, that's a hand grenade in the middle of the [franchising] business model," says Two Men and a Truck and BrightStar Care franchisee Bill Bass. "It would completely change everything about the franchising model, to the point where we probably wouldn't be in franchising."

MARYLAND ASSOCIATION NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE

The Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Distributors Association (MAPDA) has named Ellen Valentino as their new Executive Director. She replaces Pete Horrigan who had previously announced his plans to retire this year. Ellen began her professional career developing grassroots lobbying strategies for the Greater Washington/Maryland Service Station and the Automotive Repair Association. In 1991, she established her own legislative and association management firm and has represented several clients connected to small business and petroleum marketing. A Catholic University Alumna, Ms. Valentino has over twenty-five years’ experience in legislative advocacy before the Maryland General Assembly, the Delaware General Assembly, the District of Columbia City Council and the United States Congress.

MAPDA is a PMAA member association and represents marketers in Maryland, Delaware and Washington DC. PMAA congratulates Ellen and very much looks forward to having her help with national legislative and regulatory issues.
  

TOBACCO ADVERTISING LETTER FROM FDA

According to the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), the FDA has issued a letter reminding tobacco retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers that they are required to file a notice with the agency if they advertise tobacco products. Specifically mentioned is advertising of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, or smokeless tobacco in or on websites, television, blogs, e-mails sent to consumers, microblogs (e.g., Twitter), social media (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, My Space, etc.), podcasts, smart phones, video sharing (e.g., YouTube, Blip TV), Wikipedia, window gadgets, applications for smart phones and tablet computers, text messages, instant messages, pop up or roll over ads on websites, and on-line banner ads.

A notice needs to be filed with the FDA for each advertising medium listed above at least 30 days before the use of the medium. The FDA’s letter goes on to state that if a retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer currently uses any of these advertising medium and have not yet filed the required notice, then the notice should be filed promptly with the FDA.      

BANKS CONTINUE TO REAP EXCESSIVE INTERCHANGE FEE PROFITS

Last week, the Federal Reserve (Fed) issued its biennial report on debit card interchange fee transactions which is required by law. Overall, there is little change from its last report. Banks with fewer than $10 billion in assets were exempt from the Durbin amendment, and this latest report supports that the exemption is working. Those banks not covered by the law continue to charge interchange fees at around the same rate as they did pre-Durbin – approximately 50 cents per transaction.

The report also examined the cost to issuers of authorizing, clearing, and settling a transaction. Under the final rule to implement the Durbin amendment, the Fed capped debit interchange fees at 21 cents per transaction and 0.05 percent of the transaction plus an extra penny for card issuers for fraud prevention. The latest biennial report shows that the card issuing banks’ cost for debit card transactions in 2013 was as little as 4.4 cents per transaction, from an average of .05 cents per transaction in 2011. Yet, banks continue to charge on average 24 cents per transaction, yielding a profit margin as high as 445 percent.

The average interchange fee received by issuing banks exceeds the average-per-transaction costs, including fraud losses, in over 99 percent of transactions.    

TRANSPORTATION SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR CALLS AGAIN FOR VMT

Chairman of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Highways and Transit Subcommittee spoke publicly again this week in strong support of a vehicles miles traveled tax (VMT) to fund the nearly insolvent Highway Trust Fund (HTF).

An increase to the 18.4 cents-per-gallon gasoline tax is Chairman Tom Petri's (R-WI) preference, especially since there has not been an increase since 1993. Although Petri believes linking road funding to vehicle miles traveled offers a long term funding solution, VMT is highly contentious because of the disproportionate effect a VMT would have on rural lower income drivers and on privacy issues. Chairman Petri is influential, however, he also plans to retire at the end of this Congress and highway funding will likely not surface in the lame duck session. 

PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: FEDERATED INSURANCE
Fire Prevention Week October 5-11, 2014: Electrical Fire Prevention

Every year, business owners experience property losses totaling billions of dollars due to fire. Investigation into the cause of these fires found that, if consistent attention had been paid to a few, very specific exposures, most of these losses could have been prevented. Federated Insurance has developed solid resources to combat this issue and help you be more successful.

Managing an exposure like fire is not a yearly, monthly, or even weekly activity—it is a daily activity. Fires can destroy not only buildings and property, but also people’s livelihoods, sense of security and succession plans.

In our technology-centered lives, we tend to take for granted what ultimately makes all our gadgets work: electricity! We rush to “plug in” and generally don’t think twice about the power that keeps us connected.

To bring attention to a growing hazard and to coincide with 2014 National Fire Prevention Week (October 5-11), let’s discuss electricity—a power source that’s similarly taken for granted and often ignored as a fire risk. Federated Insurance has developed a Fire Prevention Packaged Program, which includes specific checklists and resources for your fire prevention and educational efforts. Please click here to read the entire article.

For additional information or to discuss this in further detail, please contact your Federated regional representative or PMAA’s National Account Executive Jerry Leemkuil at 800.533.0472.

   
 

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