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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
information or to discuss this in further detail, please
Federated regional representative or PMAA’s National
Jerry Leemkuil at 800.533.0472.