DEMOCRATS URGE PRESIDENT TO APPROVE KEYSTONE PIPELINE
On Wednesday, 11 Senate Democrats urged the President to
approve the Keystone XL pipeline by May 31. The letter cited
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
Eight federal agencies, including the Energy Department and
the EPA, have until May 1 to weigh in with the State
Department. Some analysts believe the latest State
Department report boosts the possibility that the pipeline
wins U.S. approval as soon as this summer.
Five Senate Democrats seeking reelection signed the letter
which included: Landrieu (LA), Begich (AK), Pryor (AR),
Hagan (NC), and Warner (VA). To view a copy of the letter,
CDL DRIVER SHORTAGE
Over the next 10 years, the U.S. is
expected to face a driver shortage in excess of 239,000
drivers. Simply put, America needs more commercial drivers.
All Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) applicants must pass a
skills test before being issued a CDL. What most people do
not know, however, is our nation’s ability to efficiently
produce drivers is being hampered by skills testing delays.
If a CDL applicant fails their skills test the first time,
it may take weeks or even months before he or she can retake
the test due to delays in securing another testing slot.
Current Department of Transportation regulations allow
States to determine how and where to skills test their CDL
applicants. In many States, the State government outsources
this testing function to contracted third parties. In other
States, the State government does not outsource this testing
function. The Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA)
is concerned that testing delays are hurting applicants from
efficiently entering the job market. Therefore, CVTA
believes that Congress should explore whether these testing
delays are impacting our ability to get more Americans into
the trucking industry.
CDL skills testing varies from State to State. While all
States must meet minimum testing criteria established by the
Department of Transportation, the grading of certain
procedures or skills varies depending on State law. CVTA is
concerned that certain test examiners, who test CDL
applicants, are not following proper procedure. By not
following proper procedure, these testing examiners are
causing CDL applicants to unnecessarily fail skills tests.
Given the disparities, CVTA believes Congress should act to
ensure greater consistency in our nation’s CDL testing.
In 2015, new Department of Transportation regulations go
into effect that attempt to streamline the process for
individuals to receive a CDL. While the intent of this
regulation is to create reciprocity that allows States to
issue CDLs to its citizens who receive training and skills
test out of State, CVTA fears that many States will not
issue CDLs to its citizens due to the way the current
regulation is written. As such, CVTA would like Congress to
ask the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
to clarify its own regulation.
U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION
PREDICTS $3.57 CPG GASOLINE THIS SUMMER
April 2014 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA
projects that regular-grade gasoline retail prices will
average $3.57 per gallon (gal) during the current summer
(April through September) driving season, similar to the
$3.58/gal average of summer 2013. After rising into May, the
retail price is expected to fall through the remainder of
the summer because both crude oil prices and gasoline crack
spreads (the difference between wholesale product price and
the price of crude oil) decline. Daily and weekly national
average prices can differ significantly from monthly and
seasonal averages, and there are also significant regional
differences, with prices in some areas exceeding the
national average by 25 cents/gal or more.
On April 7, the national average regular-grade gasoline
retail price stood at $3.60/gal. Most of the expected
increase from the current price over the next several weeks
is attributable to an increase in crack spreads as a result
of typical seasonal factors such as refinery maintenance and
the switch to summer-grade gasoline, which is more costly to
produce than winter-grade gasoline. Gasoline crack spreads
are expected to average 44 cents/gal in May, up from an
average of 15 cents/gal during the first quarter.
Retail prices are expected to gradually decline after May to
an average of $3.46/gal in September. The largest driver of
the expected decline is falling gasoline crack spreads,
which are expected to decline to an average of 29 cents/gal
in September. The expected decrease in crack spreads results
from a projected increase in crude oil throughput at
refineries, which add supplies to the market along with
easing seasonal demand increases as the summer progresses.
North Sea Brent crude oil prices are projected to fall from
a March average of $107 per barrel (bbl) to a May average of
$105/bbl and a September average of $103/bbl. The
May-to-September crude oil price drop contributes almost
five cents/gal to the projected decline in gasoline prices.
FUELQUEST AND ORION
FOODS VOTED BEST IN U.S.
In a nationwide survey of petroleum marketing executives
conducted by PMAA, FuelQuest and Orion Foods have earned the
title “Best in the U.S”.
FuelQuest was voted best "Fuel Management Program" and Orion
Foods was voted best "Franchise Food Service".
FuelQuest, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is the leading
on-demand software and services company for the global
downstream energy industry. They provide on-demand fuel
management, tax automation and compliance solutions for
suppliers, distributors, buyers and traders of petroleum
products and other energy commodities.
Foods, headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is an
award-winning foodservice company whose roots were
determined to provide restaurant-quality delivery pizza to
consumers on-the-go. The food service company continued to
expand into other services and industries and now offer
numerous brands across a variety of industries to customers
around the globe.
MENU LABELING GOES TO WHITE HOUSE:
HOUSE APPROVES 40 HOUR FULL TIME DEFINITION
Following three years of review, the FDA has sent final
regulations required by Section 4205 (Menu Labeling) of the
2010 healthcare law to the White House Office of Management
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 proposed to include pre-packaged food
that is already required to include nutritional information
on its packaging which would capture most c-stores. FDA has
not announced what changes were made to the measure sent to
the White House and the Administration has 90 days to review
PMAA continues to support the “Commonsense Nutrition
Disclosure Act” (H.R. 1249 and S. 1756), which would ease
some of the regulatory burdens attributable to Section 4205
by limiting the 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 owners.
Also related to the Affordable Care Act, yesterday the House
of Representatives approved Rep. Young’s (R-IN) “Save
American Workers (SAW) Act” (H.R. 2575) which would define
full time workers as those who work 40 hours a week instead
of the ObamaCare 30 hour a week standard. Without this
change, in 2015 companies with more than 100 employees will
pay penalties if health insurance is not provided to all
full time (30 hours per week) employees. The requirement for
all employers with 50 or more employees follows in 2016.
PMAA supports this legislation as we support the “Forty
Hours is Full Time Act” (S. 1188 and S.701) introduced last
year by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN.
All of these bills would repeal the 30 hour threshold for
classification as FTE for the employer mandate in the
Affordable Care Act and replace the threshold with a 40 hour
Although the House passed the bill by 248-179, Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and President Obama are
opposed to the 30 hour definition therefore, the House vote
is mostly symbolic.
FOR SIGNED DEREK JETER BAT RAFFLE DURING MAY DC CONFERENCE
The PMAA Small
Business Committee (SBC) PAC will hold a raffle during the
Washington, DC May 21-23 conference and the raffle winner
will be identified during the conference on May 23. The
winner does not have to be present to win. If you are not
attending the conference, you will be notified the week
following the May drawing if you are the fortunate owner of
the signed Derek Jeter bat!
Since 2014 will be his final season, this autographed Derek
Jeter baseball bat will be a collector’s item. It’s a
Rawlings bat and he only signed 22 of this specific model.
Jeter played 19 seasons for the New York Yankees and is a
five-time World Series champion. Jeter is regarded as a
central figure of the Yankees during their success of the
late 1990s and into the 2000s. He is the Yankees' all-time
career leader in hits (3,316), games played (2,602), stolen
bases (348), and at bats (10,614). His accolades include
thirteen All-Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, five
Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards, and a Roberto
Clemente Award. Jeter is the all-time MLB leader in hits by
a shortstop, and the 28th player to reach 3,000 hits. Jeter
has been one of the most heavily marketed athletes of his
generation, and teammates and opponents alike regard him as
a consummate professional and one of the best players of his
The proceeds of the raffle will benefit the PMAA SBC PAC.
The money distributed to the PAC is used to benefit federal
legislators who support the industry and have a solid record
on key industry legislative issues. SBC PAC co-chairs Gerry
Ramm and Michael Fields thank the raffle award donor, Mike
Rud and the North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association.
Tickets are $20 each or six for $100. Advanced tickets for
the autographed Derek Jeter baseball bat are available until
May 19, 2014. Ticket sales will continue at PMAA’s
conference in DC until the drawing on May 23. Tickets must
be paid for with personal funds by MasterCard, VISA, AMX,
cash or check (checks should be made out to the PMAA Small
Business Committee). To purchase tickets before May 19,
contact Sabrina Pitcher at 703-351-8000 or
ALI COLLAGE FOR SILENT AUCTION
Boxing fans, you will love the three piece Muhammad Ali
collage contributed by Matt Hauser of the Wisconsin
Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association. Ali
autographed (signing Muhammad Ali and birth name Cassius
Marcellus) a black and white photo of him standing over his
opponent that became the century’s greatest sports photos.
Also, Ali’s hand print cast in poly-resin (inlaid signature
autograph imprint beneath), mounted on a plaque with face
plate and a bio on Ali’s life are part of the collage that
will be available at the auction.
Tim Keigher and the Nebraska Petroleum Marketers &
Convenience Store Association expanded the auction with a
bottle of Crown Royal XO and a box of 20 Macanudo Count
David cigars! Count David cigars please the well-heeled
cigar aficionado with the finest Connecticut shade wrappers,
mild flavorful twice-aged Dominican fillers, and binders
grown in the San Andres Valley of Mexico. XO and Macanudo
are sure to spark the auction bidding!
Vera Haskins of Spirit Petroleum and Lea Wilson and the
Washington Oil Marketers Association (WOMA) provided this
year’s first PAC Silent Auction items. In addition to a
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.
RESERVE YOUR ROOMS NOW FOR PMAA’S
WASHINGTON CONFERENCE AND DAY ON THE HILL
Washington Conference and Day on the Hill will be held in
our Nation’s Capitol of Washington, DC from May 21-23. The
meeting will begin with an Opening Session / Issues Briefing
in the early afternoon of May 21. Our welcome reception
including our popular PAC silent auction fundraiser
concludes the day! On the morning of May 22, marketers will
head to Capitol Hill for visits with their Congressional
delegations after a buffet breakfast and an issues briefing
if you did not arrive in time to attend the opening session.
The PMAA Board of Directors will meet on May 23
If you plan on
attending PMAA’s Annual Washington Conference and Day on the
Hill, now is the time to make your room reservation as
the room blocks closes on April 29th at 6pm Eastern Time.
planning to attend this informative conference, please be
sure to complete the appropriate Registration Form at
your earliest convenience. You can find the
registration forms and instructions along with all related
details for Washington Conference and Day on the Hill
Please make your
plans now to attend this important and productive
forum to meet with your members of Congress and network with
other marketers from across the country!
PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT
FEATURING: STAPLES ADVANTAGE®
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.
Contrary to popular belief, breakrooms do not clean
themselves! The flu season is
upon us and studies show it costs U.S. employers an
estimated 70 million missed workdays and billions in lost
office productivity! All of the
snacks, beverages, paper products, and cleaning supplies you
need to keep your breakroom fully stocked.
Celebrate Earth Day:
You'll find a wide assortment of eco-conscious office
essentials along with some fun, interactive ways to help
lessen your environmental impact in our interactive
It's all part of our commitment to environmental excellence.
savings on furniture, technology, office supplies and more!
Be sure to check back weekly!
You can also shop by category
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
or 888.224.3784 extension 4117.
You can also call Staples Customer Service at 877.826.7755
PMAA PARTNER SPOTLIGHT FEATURING:
Partner and Endorsed Vendor
WorldPay would like to share the Final Communication on
Spring Release effective April 11, 2014. There have been
some items added and they are noted by
Should you have any additional questions on this or any
other petroleum solutions, please contact PMAA Customer
Service at 877.862.9195 or PMAA’s WorldPay Executive Client
Preen at 972.325.1801.