PMAA SUBMITS COMMENTS OPPOSING INCREASE IN FMCSA MINIMUM INSURANCE COVERAGE
PMAA submitted written comments this week opposing any
increase by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(FMCSA) to raise the minimum level of financial
responsibility (insurance coverage) for commercial trucks
including petroleum cargo tank vehicles. FMCSA minimum
financial responsibility (FR) applies to both intrastate and
interstate petroleum transporters. The rule is important to
petroleum marketers because it could raise the cost of cargo
tank vehicle insurance coverage between 60 and 80 percent.
The FMCSA currently requires petroleum marketers to show a
minimum of five million dollars in FR for cargo tank
vehicles. The FMCSA is concerned that the current FR
requirements are outdated and no longer sufficient to cover
total liability in the event of a catastrophic crash. The
minimum FR could rise to $10 million or more if the FMCSA
moves forward. A recent federal report to Congress in 2014
found that less than one percent of crashes involving
commercial motor vehicles result in damages that exceed
minimum FR levels.
PMAA argued in written comments that the FMCSA could not
justify an increase in minimum FR based on the less than one
percent shortfall rate. PMAA pointed out that when fault is
assigned to accidents cited in the report to Congress, only
22 out of a total 330,000 resulted in damages greater than
minimum FR levels. PMAA also referenced data from the
American Trucking Associations showing that there is only a
1.40 percent chance of a claim exceeding $500,000, a 0.73
percent chance of a claim going over one million dollars and
a 0.31 percent chance of a claim topping two million
dollars. PMAA also pointed out that most petroleum marketers
already carry more than the minimum FR, that the private
insurance market is regulating coverage appropriately and
increased coverage will place a significant cost burden on
small business marketers and invite more lawsuits for
damages by unscrupulous plaintiff attorneys.
PMAA will continue to oppose this issue as it moves through
the regulatory process.
PMAA MEETS WITH CFTC COMMISSIONER
On Tuesday, PMAA and NEFI, Co-Chairs
of the Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition (CMOC), met
with CFTC Commissioner Christopher Giancarlo. Joining PMAA
and NEFI was a CMOC member representing the Industrial
Energy Consumers of America.
meeting allowed our industries to summarize CMOC's
involvement with futures market reform and the CFTC's Energy
and Environment Markets Advisory Commission. We also
highlighted our concerns with the position limits proposed
rule, particularly conditional spot month limits and
inadequate CFTC funding.
PMAA and NEFI look forward
to continuing the excellent rapport we have enjoyed with the
Commission as futures market reform moves forward.
HOUSE ENERGY SUBCOMMITTEE EXAMINES OIL MARKETS
the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and
Power held a hearing titled, “21st Century Energy Markets:
How the Changing Dynamics of World Energy Markets Impact our
Economy and Energy Security.” Testifying before the
subcommittee were: Adam Sieminski, EIA; John Kingston,
McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute; Amy Jaffe, Energy
and Sustainability, University of California, Davis; Scott
Sheffield, Pioneer Natural Resources; Charles Drevna,
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers; Graeme Burnett,
Delta Airlines and Brad Markell, AFL-CIO.
Much of the
hearing focused on the current U.S. policy that bans oil
exports. Mr. Drevna said that AFPM is not opposed to lifting
the ban, however, the focus should be on a broader view that
removes all barriers so that oil markets function in the
best interests for consumers. He highlighted an anti-free
market policy – the Jones Act. The outdated Jones Act law
requires cargo shipped between two U.S. ports be transported
on a U.S. built ship as well as crewed and owned by U.S.
citizens. AFPM represents 98 percent of refining capacity in
the United States and generally agrees with PMAA’s position
calling for reform to ensure that crude oil and refined
products are being shipped at competitive prices between
U.S. ports. It currently costs less to ship oil from the
Gulf of Mexico to Canada’s refineries than it is to ship to
Mid-Atlantic refineries due to the Jones Act. Drevna
contends that the shipping industry cannot hide behind the
national security argument anymore since the U.S. allows
international companies to build and operate military
equipment and civilian aircraft, and thus, the shipbuilding
industry should not be treated any different. Drevna also
said that refining capacity is there to meet the growing
crude oil production boom.
Currently, the price of
the Brent crude oil contract is $10 more than the West Texas
Intermediate (WTI) crude oil contract. Refiners are
concerned that this Brent-WTI differential would disappear
if Congress repeals the crude oil export ban. Other
witnesses argued that ending the crude oil ban would lower
worldwide crude oil prices and diminish OPEC’s market share.
Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) said that Congress
would thoroughly review all options and suggested House
Republicans are in no hurry to end the crude oil export ban.
Recently, U.S. oil production reached 9.3 million barrels
per day, its highest level since the early 1970s while crude
inventories reached 444 million barrels, its highest level
in 80 years according to a Bloomberg analysis.
is neutral on ending the crude oil export ban.
SENATE FAILS TO OVERRIDE PRESIDENT’S KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE VETO
This week, the Senate failed to override President Obama’s
veto of the Keystone XL pipeline approval bill by a vote of
62 - 37. Sixty-seven votes were needed to override the
President. All Republicans voted for the bill along with
eight Senate Democrats which included: Michael Bennet of
Colorado, Tom Carper of Delaware, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania,
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West
Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of
Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia. Even if the Senate
garnered the necessary 67 votes to override the President,
it faced an uncertain future in the House since the bill
needed 290 votes.
The House attracted 270 votes in
favor of approving the pipeline earlier this year. Following
the failed attempt, the GOP-controlled Senate said it would
likely try to attach the bill to future bills that the
President may not want to veto such as the highway bill
reauthorization, raising the debt ceiling or a spending bill
later this year.
President Obama has said he wants to
wait until the State Department review is completed before
deciding on whether to approve construction of the pipeline.
The State Department should give its recommendation anytime
PMAA fully supports the immediate approval of
the Keystone XL pipeline.
PMAA’S WASHINGTON CONFERENCE 2015 SILENT AUCTION
PMAA’s SBC PAC Co-Chairs Brad Bell and Michael Fields would
like to thank Federated Insurance for donating the Great
Outdoors Package for PMAA’s PAC Silent Auction.
If you are serious outdoorsmen or if you are retired and
looking to try something different, this package is just for
If you like hunting or fishing, you will need the
Grizzly Cooler for cooling and securing your fresh
catch. If you are not an experienced outdoorsman, you may
just want to look the part by wearing your green camo
or orange camo hat. You will also need a
shotgun shell thermos. The shotgun shell thermos will
keep your beverage hot for up to at least 24 hours. Last but
not least, to pack up your gear, the outdoor leather
duffel bag is the perfect carry-all.
The Auction will take place in conjunction with PMAA’s
Washington Conference on May 13 during the welcome
reception. If you have items that you would like to
contribute for the Silent Auction, please contact
Sabrina Pitcher or
FEBRUARY 2015 PMAA SMALL BUSINESS COMMITTEE (SBC) PAC CONTRIBUTIONS
Brad Bell and Michael Fields are grateful for the PMAA Small
Business Committee (SBC) PAC contributions from the
following individuals during the February 1 – 28 timeframe:
Arkansas: Vanessa Crossfield, Steven
Ferren, Jeff Frost, William Hanesworth, David Harger, Doug
Hendrix, Aaron Littlefield III, Berry Magness, Mallory
IOMA: Matthew Durand, James Garrett,
Christopher Riley, Andrew Slifka
NEFI: Howard Peterson, Sharon
PMAA MEMBERS PROFIT THROUGH RISK MANAGEMENT ACADEMY SEMINAR OFFERED APRIL 20-22, 2015
Federated’s Risk Management Academy provides a unique
opportunity for businesses to learn best practices and
network with industry peers through short risk management
seminars. These seminars are designed for individuals in
positions of risk leadership including owners, operations
management, service management, risk management, or human
resources. Sessions target specific risk management
exposures for all industries as well as targeted exposures
for individual industries. The key to a successful business
is implementing and leading a strong risk management
culture, so attendees should be in a position to take
Through PMAA's relationship with Federated
Insurance, there is no charge to attend this training and
you do not have to be a current Federated client. However,
attendees are responsible for air and ground transportation
and lodging to and from Owatonna, Minnesota. Several PMAA
members have attended in the past and can give referrals on
the course content.
is still available! The class is limited to 25 attendees and
the registration cutoff date is March 20.
For a short video about the seminar and other details,
visit. To reserve your spot in the upcoming session or
for answers to any questions you may have, contact
Royetta Spurgeon at
Federated 800.533.0472 extension 455-5604.
PMAA MDF CONTRIBUTORS FOR FEBRUARY 2015
Defense Fund wants to thank the following individuals for
their contributions during the February 1- 28 timeframe:
Colorado: Andy Smith
Connecticut: Sharon Peterson
B. Stephen Harper
Amar Sr., Todd St. Romain
Nebraska: Robert Hofstetter,
IOMA: James Garrett
North Carolina: Stuart Kennedy
Pennsylvania: Michael DeBerdine, Steve Oehlert
Tennessee: Tennessee Fuel & Convenience
Washington: Steven T.
Corporate donations are acceptable. The monies
raised for MDF are used for special projects, personnel and
materials dedicated to strengthening our lobbying efforts on
DEFENDING AGAINST “BACKOFF” MALWARE WEBINAR ON MARCH 26
PCI SSC will partner
with payment brands and members of the PCI community in 2015
to deliver a series of educational webinars on threats and
vulnerabilities to payment data and how your organization can
protect against them.
Guest speakers from Visa’s Payment
System Cyber Intelligence Team will join us for this first
The 60-minute webinar will cover the following
topics, and include a live Q&A session:
The discovery of
and attack vectors
Actionable steps for
PCI and industry
click here to register.
Should you have any
additional questions on these webinars or any other petroleum
solutions, please contact PMAA’s
Worldpay Executive Client Manager,
Glenda Preen at
PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: LABORCHEX
Changing World of Criminal Record Checks
Did you know
that in some states, cities, and towns an employer cannot
have a question about criminal records on a job application?
It is called “Ban the Box,” and is a growing trend. It stems
out of federal agencies who believe that some people with
criminal records won’t apply for jobs if they see such a
question, even if the criminal history would not necessarily
prevent them from getting the job. The employer can still
check the criminal record history during some point of the
evaluation process, but cannot have that question on the
application or ask it in an interview.
and more states are restricting the types of criminal
records they report. This makes it even more challenging for
employers to hire the best workforces. Contact your legal
counsel to learn if there are any “Ban the Box” laws in your
state or community, now or expected.
provides employment background screening services to PMAA
members nationwide at discounted pricing. For more
review PMAA’s current program or email
Steven J. Austin
or by phone at 601.624.4321.