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PMAA's weekly update on important national industry issues.

 
PMAA's Weekly Review - July 25, 2014  [WR-14-29]

 

 

In This Issue:
 

RFS REFORM LEGISLATION A POSSIBILITY NEXT YEAR

 

FMCSA REPORTS INCREASE IN DOCTORS CERTIFIED TO CONDUCT CDL MEDICAL EXAM

 

VOTE ON TEMPORARY HIGHWAY BILL TO OCCUR NEXT WEEK

 

MAKE YOUR HOTEL RESERVATIONS NOW TO JOIN PMAA AND NACS IN LAS VEGAS THIS OCTOBER

 

CRAIG EERKES EARNS TOP NATIONAL HONOR

 

PMAA PARTNER SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: FEDERATED INSURANCE

 

PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: STAPLES ADVANTAGE®

 

 
 

 
 

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RFS REFORM LEGISLATION A POSSIBILITY NEXT YEAR

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) indicated this week that the Committee plans to consider legislation next year to reform the RFS. An aide to the Chairman said that because the yet to be released 2014 RFS blending volumes are likely to be challenged in the courts once finalized, this will motivate Congress to reform the RFS so that it works for all stakeholders. Last year, Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA), through a series of bipartisan white papers and hearings, reviewed the RFS which particularly focused on the ethanol blendwall.

PMAA currently supports a regulatory adjustment to the RFS to prevent chaos in the retail motor fuels marketplace by adjusting the corn-based ethanol mandate to a level achievable with E10 and reasonable growth for E85. EPA’s currently proposed 2014 corn-based ethanol volumes does just that, however, it is unclear when the EPA will release the final rule  

FMCSA REPORTS INCREASE IN DOCTORS CERTIFIED TO CONDUCT CDL MEDICAL EXAM

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced that 8,000 more health professionals have been added to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners since the new system for U.S. DOT medical examinations launched last month with 22,000 providers. Another 22,500 medical professionals have also initiated the process for gaining their certification, according to the agency.

A recent U.S. DOT rule requires drivers to select a medical professional from the registry to conduct physical fitness exams necessary for CDL licensure. The new rule went into effect on May 21, 2014. In order to be listed on the National Registry, medical professionals must earn certification by completing training and testing in FMCSA's physical qualification standards for drivers. Most private practice doctors are not expected to undergo the required testing, training and certification. As a result, many drivers who have relied on family doctors to provide CDL medical qualification certificates will likely have to go elsewhere for a physical.

Typically, medical professionals on the national registry are private clinics specializing in DOT compliance services. The FMCSA said the rule is necessary to prevent medical professionals with no knowledge of FMCSA rules from “rubber stamping” driver medical certificates. The rule was mandated by Congress under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005 (49 U.S.C. 31149). The new rule applies to all interstate and intrastate CDL drivers including those with HAZMAT endorsements. Drivers are not required to use the National Registry until their next regularly scheduled medical fitness exam as indicated by the expiration date on their current medical certificates.

A listing of medical providers in the registry is available at: https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/NRPublicUI/home.seam 

VOTE ON TEMPORARY HIGHWAY BILL TO OCCUR NEXT WEEK

The Senate is expected to vote next week on a short-term deal before federal officials start delaying payments on August 1 to states for road and bridge construction projects. The House passed a bill (H.R. 5021) last week (367-55) that would fund the highway program through May 2015.

The Senate will bring up the House bill and two alternative funding bills as well as a few amendments. The final outcome is likely to be passage of the House funding bill with a refocus again on a long term highway funding solution. The two other funding patches include the Senate Finance Committee approved bill and a proposal authored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). The House bill is similar to the Senate Finance bill with both providing roughly $10.8 billion for the Highway Trust Fund. Both plans use pension smoothing and an extension of customs user fees as offsets, but the Senate Finance Committee bill also includes $4.3 billion in tax compliance provisions that will not pass the House. Although President Obama would also like a long-term fix, he has approved the short term House bill.

Most significant to petroleum marketers, both the House and Senate Finance Committee plans contain language fought by PMAA that would transfer one billion dollars from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund, leaving only $400 million. Petroleum marketers have supported the LUST Fund and have paid $3.8 billion in LUST taxes since its inception. In 2012, Congress included a provision in the Highway bill that raided the LUST Trust Fund of $2.4 billion dollars and moved it to the Highway Trust Fund. While PMAA opposed this provision, Congress could have lessened the blow by including language which would have required that future revenue collected for the LUST Fund is used for its intended purpose. Now Congress is back to raid from the petroleum marketers fund, this time proposing to take one billion dollars of the remaining $1.4 billion from the fund.

PMAA believes the LUST Fund should be solely used to support UST leak prevention and remediation programs. PMAA is also concerned that states might increase tank fees to account for the LUST Fund shortfall. Raiding another one billion dollars from the fund will cripple important programs and ultimately harm marketing companies who have paid the tax and built the fund over the past 25 years. If the fund isn’t being used for its intended purpose, the fee should be eliminated.

The Senate will also consider a proposal from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) that would phase down the federal gas tax to 3.7 cents per gallon and move highway authority to the states. Given the ongoing debate to raise revenue for the Highway Trust Fund, any proposal which decreases the federal gasoline tax is not likely to move forward.
  

MAKE YOUR HOTEL RESERVATIONS NOW TO JOIN PMAA AND NACS IN LAS VEGAS THIS OCTOBER

Every year, the NACS Show brings together convenience and fuel retailing industry professionals for four days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow and run successful operations. For industry retailers who are serious about the success of their business, the NACS Show is a can't miss event. The NACS Show will be held from October 7 to 10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

This year’s NACS Show features 400,000 net square feet of exhibit space, which officially sold out on May 2. Applications are being accepted for the booth waitlist. Expo hours will take place Wednesday, October 8, 11:30 am – 5:30 pm; Thursday, October 9, 11:30 am – 5:30 pm; and Friday, October 10, 9 am – 1:30 pm. Attendees can also look forward to three days of general sessions and 65 educational sessions, as well as training sessions for small operators with five stores or less.

Dr. Robert Gates, former secretary of defense and director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has been announced as a Closing General Session speaker at the NACS Show. Dr. Gates served as the 22nd secretary of defense from 2006 to 2011 under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. He is the only defense secretary in U.S. history to be asked to remain in office by a newly elected president. President Obama awarded Gates the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, in 2011.

“Dr. Gates will deliver a compelling behind-the-scenes view of world events over the past quarter century, as well as the context for how current affairs could affect and reshape our political and retail landscape,” said NACS Vice Chairman of Convention Jack Kofdarali, president of J&T Management Company Inc. in Corona, California. “From the ever-changing landscape in the Middle East, specifically, Iran, to security and defense issues like drones, Dr. Gates will address some of the most significant events in the world today.”

Please note that the NACS Show Registration is separate from the PMAA Meeting Registration.

PMAA’s Fall Meeting will be held on October 6-7 at Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. Please view current information here. Registration is now open!     

CRAIG EERKES EARNS TOP NATIONAL HONOR

Washington state petroleum marketer Craig Eerkes has been selected to receive PMAA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. The award will be presented at a luncheon held in his honor on October 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Craig is the CEO of Sun Pacific Energy in Kennewick, Washington. He has worked in the petroleum industry over 30 years and has been an industry leader at the local, state and national level.

Eerkes has led industry associations such as Washington Oil Marketers Association (WOMA), the Western Petroleum Marketers Association and PMAA. He was elected Vice President of WOMA in 1991, and served as president in 1993-94. He was elected WPMA 3rd Vice President in 1995-96, and then rose up the chairs until he became WPMA President in 1998-99. From 2000 to 2003 Craig served as WPMA’s Senior PMAA Director, and in 2004 PMAA asked him to serve as Western Regional Chairman. He rose through the chairs to serve as Chairman of PMAA in 2007.

Craig is very generous with his time, talents, and personal resources. He is a strong supporter of United Way, the Kennewick First Presbyterian Church, Young Life, the Boys and Girls Club, the Boy Scouts, 4H and the Mid-Columbia Reading Foundation.

Craig and his wife Marilee have been married over 42 years and live in Kennewick with son Chris, daughter-in-law Sarah, and three granddaughters. In 2006 Craig was recognized as the Kennewick Man of the Year and earlier this year as the Tri-Citian of the Year for his continued support of the community.

The PMAA Distinguished Service Award Committee was Chaired by North Dakota marketer Matt Bjornson. Serving on the committee with him were, Brad Bell, Washington; Jim Garrett, Massachusetts; Gary Johnson, Texas; and Roger Lane, Georgia.

PMAA PARTNER SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: FEDERATED INSURANCE
FINAL CALL for PMAA Members Profit Through Risk Management By Attending Designated Risk Manager Seminar Offered September 15-17, 2014

Companies most successful at controlling losses have designated a key person as their risk manager. This person is supported by top management and is both responsible and accountable for identifying loss exposures and implementing risk management solutions.

Federated’s Designated Risk Manager Seminar was developed to target specific risk management concerns for the petroleum industry. It is a valuable training tool for all risk managers, regardless of their experience in the position.

Through PMAA's Platinum Partner relationship with Federated Insurance, there is no charge to attend this training and you do not have to be a current Federated client. Attendees are responsible for airfare, transportation to and from the airport, hotel and incidental meals. Dozens of PMAA's jobbers and dealers have attended in the past and can give referrals on the course content.

As you consider sending the appropriate company representative to this invaluable seminar, perhaps ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you completely satisfied that the risk management culture at your firm is where it needs to be to protect profitability?

  • If you have few losses, are you lucky or are you good? Are you consistently executing all of the risk management best practices available to help you avoid costly and preventable losses?

There is still availability in this class which is limited to 25 attendees! The last day to register is August 15, 2014. Please contact Royetta Spurgeon at Federated of by calling 507.455.5604 or 800.533.0472 for more information. 

PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: STAPLES ADVANTAGE®

The PMAA / Staples Advantage program brings many benefits to all PMAA members.  Not only does Staples have great prices on office supplies and technology items, but we also offer a wide variety of products and services to help you consolidate vendors, streamline processes and cut down on ordering costs.

Weekly Specials: Fantastic savings on furniture, technology, office supplies and more! Be sure to check back weekly!

Staples Back to School Center: For College, K-12 and Teachers, Staples is your go-to place to get ready to go back to school! Check out the latest technology for college, dorm room décor, dorm room essentials, gift cards and even textbook rentals — all for less. See Staples Back to School 110 percent Price Match Guarantee for a limited time only.

With our Copy & Print Account Manager, you get:

  • Help managing your specific print needs with savings and efficiency recommendations

  • Quick-turn print-on-demand services at your nearby Staples® store with access to high-quality, closed-door production facilities when you need them

  • Local in-person support throughout the entire ordering process

To find out more about making Staples your one source for all of your business needs or to check for further discounts or a custom program when ordering large ticket technology, furniture, bulk purchases and custom printing, please contact PMAA’s National Inside Account Consultant Albina Oboimova or 888.224.3784 extension 4117. You can also call Staples Customer Service at 877.826.7755 or Order@StaplesAdvantage.com.

 

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