INTRODUCED TO EXTEND EMERGENCY WAIVERS FOR HEATING FUELS
Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
introduced bipartisan legislation known as the “Reliable
Home Heating Act” (S. 2086) , which is similar to
legislation that passed the House earlier in the week --
“Home Heating Emergency Assistance through Transportation (HHEATT)
Act of 2014” (H.R. 4076). The legislation would provide
state governors with greater autonomy in extending these
waivers up to an additional 60 days (for a total of 90
days). It would also provide an early warning system in
which the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) would
notify governors when propane or heating oil supplies fall
below the most recent five year average for more than three
consecutive weeks. Additionally, the legislation would
extend current emergency declarations for 36 states through
May 31, 2014.
Next week, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
Committee is expected to consider H.R. 4076. However, it is
unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
will allow the full Senate to consider it.
LETTER URGES IMMEDIATE APPROVAL OF
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE
This week, PMAA, along with
like-minded associations, sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry underscoring the importance of swift
approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The letter
highlighted the State Department’s fifth and final
environmental impact statement (EIS) which essentially
dispelled environmental critics’ claims that the Keystone XL
pipeline is not in the nation’s best interest. The final EIS
argued that Canadian oil sands would be developed with or
without the pipeline. Hauling crude oil by rail carries
with it a higher CO2 rate and safety concerns. Approving
the Keystone XL pipeline would help alleviate these
environmental and safety concerns.
Still, even with the many remaining steps and although Obama
is forced to choose between labor-union supporters who back
the project and environmentalists who oppose it, some
analysts believe the latest EIS report boosts the
possibility that the pipeline wins U.S. approval as soon as
To view a copy of the letter, please
BUSINESSES URGE GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT
other members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in a letter
urging Congress to pass The RAPID Act, a permit streamlining
bill (H.R. 2641) designed to create jobs by increasing
production. To increase production, the environmental
permitting process must be streamlined. H.R.2641 lays out
multiple ways to streamline the process including
coordinating responsibilities among multiple agencies, and
allowing for use of state reviews instead of federal only.
To view a copy of the letter, please
INDUSTRY TO EDUCATE PUBLIC ON EXPORTS
In response to requests from Chevron Corp. and other oil
companies, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz reported this week
that the energy industry needs to better communicate to
Americans that U.S. oil exports are needed since the U.S.
still imports five million barrels a day and U.S. oil was
nine dollars a barrel less than European crude in 2013.
With the record growth in U.S. oil production from 1.136
million barrels a day last year to 8.121 million at
year-end, energy companies want to begin exporting some of
the crude where there is a higher market price for the
product. Energy policies from the 1973 Arab oil embargo
restrict crude exports but do not limit refined products.
U.S. refiners are exporting record amounts of gasoline often
at below market prices. Producers argue that the U.S. has
surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest
producer of oil and natural gas and the time is right to
allow for exports of crude. However, some U.S. refiners
want to maintain the ban because they currently enjoy
cheaper domestically produced crude oil prices (West Texas
Intermediate crude oil contract) compared to the world’s
benchmark known as the Brent crude contract.
It’s not entirely clear whether repealing the ban on oil
exports will result in higher or lower U.S. gasoline
prices. PMAA’s Executive Committee decided to remain
neutral on oil exports for the foreseeable future.
MENU LABELING GUIDELINES DELAYED UNTIL
Although FDA first proposed new menu labeling requirements
in early 2011 and was expected to finalize the guidelines
early this year, the FDA now hopes to finalize the calorie
count disclosure rule by the end of the year, after
finishing review of the 900 comments from industry and
This delay provides more time for Congress to move the PMAA
supported “Commonsense Nutrition Disclosure Act” (H.R. 1249
and S. 1756 ) which would ease some of the regulatory
burdens attributable to Section 4205 (Menu Labeling) of the
2010 healthcare law.
Section 4205 requires restaurants and convenience store
owners with 20 or more locations to list content information
for standard menu items, such as posting calorie information
on menus and menu-boards. Retailers must also provide
additional nutrition information to be made available in
writing upon request. The proposed FDA rule would define a
“covered entity” as any retailer where more than 50 percent
of the store’s floor area is devoted to selling food. The
caveat is that FDA also included pre-packaged food that is
already required to include nutritional information on its
packaging which would capture most c-stores.
H.R. 1249 would limit the Section 4205’s menu labeling
provisions in the health care law to establishments that
derive 50 percent or more of their revenue from food for
immediate consumption and/or prepared and processed on-site.
Prepackaged food would not be considered in this equation.
PMAA believes H.R. 1249 would bring a commonsense solution
to regulation which will unfairly burden convenience store
FINALIZES TIER 3 GASOLINE RULE
This week EPA
announced plans to finalize its Tier 3 gasoline regulations.
The most costly aspect of the rule is the planned reduction
in the sulfur content of gasoline starting in 2017. Gasoline
refiners have aggressively opposed the proposed rule
claiming the regulations will increase the cost of gasoline
with virtually no environmental benefit. EPA does not
dispute the fact that the rule will increase the cost of
gasoline; however, EPA claims the refiner cost estimates are
too high. The EPA estimates lowering the sulfur content of
gasoline to 15ppm would cost only one cent per gallon while
the major refiners put the cost to consumers at between six
and nine cents per gallon.
will not require infrastructure changes at the distributor
or retail level and the lower sulfur content is compatible
with all gasoline powered cars and trucks. However, the
supply bottlenecks and increased gasoline price burden on
consumers are a concern to PMAA.
PMAA will be reviewing the final rule closely and will
publish a Regulatory Report.
AUCTION CONTRIBUTIONS, AND A CALL FOR MORE!
Everyone enjoys PMAA’s Small Business Committee (SBC) PAC
Silent Auction and our Washington Conference welcome
reception. This year the auction and welcome reception will
take place on May 21.
SBC PAC Co-Chairs Gerry Ramm and Michael Fields urge your
participation this year – as contributors and as bidders!
Vera Haskins of Spirit Petroleum and Lea Wilson and the
Washington Oil Marketers Association (WOMA) provided this
year’s first (and only) PAC Silent Auction items. In
addition to the lovely Navy Blue Paolo Masi Italian leather
handbag from Vera, WOMA contributed a stunning Fred Meyer
Jewelers fashion necklace that features a heart and key that
is set with diamond accents. The necklace offers a romantic
and bold look that certainly stands out.
In order to contribute your items for the Silent Auction,
please contact Sabrina
Pitcher at 703-351-8000.
FEBRUARY 2014 PMAA SMALL BUSINESS
COMMITTEE (SBC) PAC CONTRIBUTIONS
Michael Fields and Gerry Ramm are grateful for the PMAA
Small Business Committee (SBC) PAC contributions from the
following individuals during the February 1 – 28 timeframe:
Alabama: Bart Fletcher
Arkansas: Gwenn Collins, Mallory Nimocks
Connecticut: Howard Peterson, Sharon Peterson
Idaho: Brett Adams, Ron Berry, Eric Busch, Holly
Claiborn, Dennis Campo, Bonnie Grande, John Jackson, Charlie
Jones, Jim Lynch, Tony Stone
Iowa: Glenn Hasken
Kansas: Wanda Litwiller, Matt Mildenberger, Gratz
Peters, Norman Voltz
Maine: John Babb, Michael Estes, Mark Gagnon, Marc
Lacasse, Jonathan Mapes, Mark St. Germain
Missouri: William Delano III
Nebraska: Mark Whitehead
IOMA: Raymond Leather, Christopher Riley
North Carolina: Olin Furr Jr.
North Dakota: Tony Bernhardt, Matt Bjornson, Steve
Borlaug, Chris Fitterer, Andrew Fjeldahl, David Froelich,
Tracy Good, Arlen Hjelmstad, Todd Johnson
South Carolina: Boyd McLeod, Walter Frick, Bill
Hemingway, Chad Ingram, Clarence McCully, Jennifer Rhoads
Utah: Jim Larson
PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT
FEATURING: FEDERATED INSURANCE
How to Dilute
the Value of a Dollar: A Frank Discussion on Offering
Medical Insurance to Your Employees
Some employers are so tired of ever-increasing health
insurance costs that they are ready to throw in the towel.
The advent of the mandated Health Insurance Exchanges
(Marketplaces) developed through passage of the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act permit anyone to buy
insurance, even if they are unhealthy.
This is causing some employers to consider eliminating
health insurance as an employee benefit, and, instead,
increase wages so employees can buy their own insurance. If
you’ve been pondering this move, you need to carefully weigh
the impact of that decision. Please read Federated’s article
in its entirety
information or to discuss this in further detail, please
Federated regional representative or PMAA’s
newly-assigned National Account Executive
Jerry Leemkuil at
PMAA MDF CONTRIBUTORS FOR FEBRUARY
Defense Fund wants to thank the following individuals for
their contributions during the February 1- 28 timeframe:
California: Law Offices of Leech & Associates
Illinois: Matt Schrimpf
Iowa: Roger Kanne, Tom Warner
Kansas: Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store
Association of Kansas
Kentucky: Chuck Baker, B. Stephen Harper
Louisiana: Darrell Amar Sr.
Massachusetts: New England Fuel Institute, John
Mississippi: Bradley Morris
IOMA: James Garrett
New Mexico: New Mexico Petroleum Marketers
North Carolina: T. Scott Aman, Lee Barnes
Oklahoma: Healdton Oil Company, Greg Love
Oregon: Ronald Tyree
Pennsylvania: Steven Edris, Jeff Mitchell, Steve
Oehlert, John Reilly
Tennessee: Tennessee Fuel & Convenience Store
Washington: Washington Oil Marketers Association
Wisconsin: James Crawford, Jonathan Crawford
Corporate donations are acceptable. The monies raised for
MDF are used for special projects, personnel and materials
dedicated to strengthening our lobbying efforts on Capitol
PMAA PARTNER SPOTLIGHT FEATURING:
MATRIX CAPITAL MARKETS GROUP, INC.
2013 was another
very successful year for
Energy and Multi-Site Retail Group ("EMR Group"). During
2013 we completed nine (9) transactions including three (3)
company sales, three (3) transactions where we closed on the
sale of a division or market divested by our clients, two
(2) transactions that were sales in bankruptcy, and one (1)
valuation planning assignment. We are very grateful to our
clients and we appreciate their confidence and trust in us.
Since the start of 2011, our EMR Group has completed
thirty-six (36) engagements. These engagements have covered
the full slate of services we offer including company sales,
divestments of select markets or divisions, bankruptcy
sales, capital raising, buy-side advisory, and valuation and
strategic planning. Our clients have spanned the complete
gamut of the downstream energy sector including motor fuels
distribution, convenience stores, heating oil and propane,
and transportation logistics.
2014 is already a very active year and we look forward to
continuing to provide our clients with the highest standards
of financial advisory services. I hope you will agree that
"We're Known By The Work We Do."