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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.”
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
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?
here to read more information on this topic.
For additional information or to discuss this in further
detail, please contact your
representative or PMAA’s National Account Executive
Leemkuil at 800.533.0472.
PMAA PARTNER SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: Worldpay
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