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PMAA's weekly update on important national industry issues.

 
PMAA's Weekly Review - November 21, 2014  [WR-14-46]

 

 

In This Issue:
 

PMAA MEETS WITH ADMINISTRATION OVER UST RULE

 

HOUSE ELECTS LEADERSHIP AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS

 

REPUBLICANS SEEK OZONE COMPLIANCE COSTS

 

SMALL BUSINESS LEADERS PRESS FOR TAX CREDIT EXTENDERS

 

KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE FALLS ONE VOTE SHORT IN SENATE 

 

SPIRIT® PETROLEUM ENDORSES CORD FINANCIAL SERVICES

 

PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: FEDERATED INSURANCE

 

PMAA PARTNER SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: Worldpay

 

 
 

 
 

A new choice for petroleum marketers.  The Spirit brand is offered by the Petroleum Marketers Oil Company, LLC (PMOCO).

(CLICK HERE)

 
 
 

Visit us at:

WWW.PMAA.ORG


Telephone:
703-351-8000

Petroleum Marketers Association of America

(PMAA)

1901 North Fort Myer Drive

Suite 500

Arlington, Virginia 22209

PMAA MEETS WITH ADMINISTRATION OVER UST RULE

On Wednesday, PMAA met with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to express marketers’ concerns over a pending EPA rule that would add costly new inspection and testing requirements for underground storage tanks (USTs). The OMB is part of the Executive Office of the President and reviews all proposed federal rules before they are made final. PMAA met with the OMB in a final effort to voice concerns over the UST rule that is both procedurally flawed and imposes unacceptable compliance costs. The PMAA UST Task Force has had significant concerns about the UST rule since it was first proposed in 2012.

Bruce Garrett of Volta Oil in Massachusetts and Matt Bjornson of Bjornson Oil in North Dakota attended the meeting along with PMAA Regulatory Counsel Mark Morgan and Director of Government Relations Rob Underwood.  PMAA asked the OMB to withdraw the rule due to the EPA’s failure to accurately calculate the economic burden it would place on small business marketers as required by law. The EPA calculated the rule would impose $900 in compliance costs annually. PMAA’s own estimate showed those costs to be $6,960 per year. In addition to the cost burden, PMAA voiced concern that the rule imposes new inspection and testing burdens that are not only unnecessary and duplicative but could also damage piping systems and sumps already in the ground. PMAA presented both cost and technical data to support its concerns.

OMB is not allowed to comment on rules under review but they asked a number of questions regarding compliance costs. PMAA does not know which provisions made it to the final rule currently under review at the OMB, but it likely contains some of the cost saving alternative measures PMAA recommended.  PMAA thanks both Bruce Garrett and Matt Bjornson for the time and effort made to voice marketers’ concerns at the OMB meeting
  

HOUSE ELECTS LEADERSHIP AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS

During this lame duck session, the House held elections for leadership and committee chair posts.  With little change among Republican and Democratic leadership positions, some Committee chair posts will see new faces next year.  Due to the retirement of Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) will take the lead over the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxes. 

Meanwhile, Democrats held their elections and some drama unfolded between Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) who were vying to replace retiring House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Henry Waxman (D-CA).  The Democratic Steering Committee supported Eshoo by a vote of 31 – 19, however, Pallone pulled the upset among all Democrats later on the floor.  

REPUBLICANS SEEK OZONE COMPLIANCE COSTS

Twelve Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter last week to EPA requiring additional data on meeting a potentially stricter ozone standard.  Furthermore, the House approved a bill yesterday by a vote of 238 - 172 that would accelerate EPA's issuance of implementation guidance for meeting the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee concluded late June that EPA should lower the 75 ppb ozone national ambient air quality standard to 60-70 ppb. Furthermore, the committee suggested a 60 to 65 ppb range that a standard of 70 ppb would offer only a “limited margin of safety” for human health.  Lowering the standard would force more counties into non-attainment, therefore, requiring RFG and lower RVP gasoline which would increase the cost of motor fuels.

PMAA believes the economic consequences from a lower ozone standard would be severe and must be considered.

Senator Vitter (R-LA) and Representative Smith (R-TX) have also asked EPA how it plans the further economic review that is required by law. They urged EPA to allow its independent expert advisors to conduct a full evaluation of the adverse effects of the agency’s upcoming proposal. By EPA’s own estimates, the new regulations would cost taxpayers up to $90 billion per year, making them the most costly regulations ever proposed.  Worse still, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, the proposed rule will cost over one trillion dollars per year from 2020-2030.
  

SMALL BUSINESS LEADERS PRESS FOR TAX CREDIT EXTENDERS

The Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) is ramping up efforts to lobby Congress asking for an expedited extension of the Section 179 deduction and Bonus Depreciation. Since 2003, there have been nine temporary increases or extensions to the Section 179 limits.  In 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act temporarily increased the Section 179 deduction limit to $500,000 and increased the cap on the amount of capital assets that a business can purchase in a given year before their eligibility to take the Section 179 deduction is reduced or eliminated. On January 1, 2014, these limits reverted back to the pre-2003 levels which, without inflation indexing, are a deduction limit of $25,000 and an asset purchase cap of $200,000.  Similarly, bonus depreciation, which was first introduced in 2002, expired altogether on December 31, 2013. 

If Congress allows the Section 179 limits to stay at the pre-2003 levels and does not extend bonus depreciation, it will be striking a significant blow to small business growth and, in turn, job creation.  SBLC says this is an issue that cannot wait.  Every day that the Section 179 limits and bonus depreciation are not resolved means another day of uncertainty for small business owners who are being forced to plan for their business’ future without being able to assess what their annual tax liability will be.

PMAA is a member of SBLC and is supporting their lobbying efforts.    

KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE FALLS ONE VOTE SHORT IN SENATE     

Following last Friday’s House passage of H.R. 5682 which would approve the Keystone XL pipeline, the Senate considered an identical bill (S. 2280) yesterday.  Unfortunately, the Senate fell one vote short of the necessary 60 votes to approve the pipeline.  Every Senate Republican voted in favor of S. 2280 along with 14 Democrats. Click here to see how your Senator voted.  Meanwhile, the failed vote in the Senate did not help Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), a Keystone supporter and cosponsor of S. 2280, who is in a runoff against Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) who sponsored H.R. 5682.   

PMAA fully supports the immediate approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL pipeline enjoys overwhelming support from Americans, with 60 percent saying it should be approved and 25 percent opposed, according to a USA Today poll released Monday.  Some political insiders believe that because the Obama Administration did not issue an official veto threat to either bill has fueled speculation that Obama may want to use the pipeline in negotiations with the incoming Republican Congress next year.  Keystone XL pipeline supporters will be close to the necessary 67 votes to override a Presidential veto when the GOP takes control next year, plus nine pro-Keystone XL Democrats
.    

SPIRIT® PETROLEUM ENDORSES CORD FINANCIAL SERVICES

Spirit® Petroleum has endorsed CORD Financial Services as its newest preferred provider of business services for Spirit brand licensees. Founded in 2001, CORD Financial Services ranks among the largest privately held ATM companies in the United States. CORD serves the retail and hospitality industries, financial institutions and other corporate markets with a diverse offering of ATM and other financial solutions. The company’s veteran leadership team has positioned the company to provide merchants with exceptional ATM solutions designed to increase the bottom line while delivering a positive customer experience. CORD’s success has been built on a stellar reputation for honesty, integrity and customer service.

Earlier this year, The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) members voted CORD Financial Services the best ATM supplier in the U.S., and endorsed CORD as the preferred ATM provider for PMAA.

“We’re very excited about our new relationship with PMAA and with Spirit® Petroleum,” said Thomas Hailey, Director of Business Development for CORD Financial Services. “The company was established to serve the needs of convenience stores and we’re well positioned to serve Spirit® licensees. With our competitive offerings and unmatched customer service, we place ourselves firmly on the side of our customers to help them achieve their business goals.”

“We’re delighted to add CORD Financial Services to our select roster of preferred partners,” affirmed Vera Haskins, President of Spirit® Petroleum. “We are certain that CORD’s products and services, as well as the company’s philosophy and reputation, make it a perfect match for the needs of our Spirit® brand licensees.”

Spirit® is a nationally recognized petroleum brand managed by marketers and owned by the nonprofit Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA). Spirit® is committed to redefining independence for the American petroleum marketer. Spirit®’s minimal requirements, affordable fees and flexible business solutions give businesses of all sizes the control they need to compete aggressively in today’s tough environment. Spirit® offers a sophisticated, patriotic brand image that inspires loyalty and confidence in consumers nationwide. For more information, visit www.spiritpetroleum.com or call (215) 345-4119

PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: FEDERATED INSURANCE
Federated Insurance Employment Practices Network HR Question of the Month

Federated Insurance’s “HR Question of the Month” focuses on employment-related practices liability issues. November’s question is: What is the obligation of an employer when personal phones are used to share inappropriate or sexual content in the workplace? Please click here to read more information on this topic.

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.

PMAA PARTNER SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: Worldpay
Recent Advisor Alerts

PMAA’s National Partner and Endorsed Vendor Worldpay would like to share the following recent Advisor Alerts:

Should you have any additional questions on this or any other petroleum solutions, please contact PMAA’s Worldpay Customer Service at 877.862.9195 or PMAA’s Worldpay Executive Client Manager, Glenda Preen at 972.325.1801.

 

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