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PMAA's weekly update on important national industry issues.

 
PMAA's Weekly Review - January 30, 2015  [WR-15-05]

 

 

In This Issue:
 

SENATE APPROVES KEYSTONE BILL

 

PMAA TESTIFIES BEFORE EPA ON OZONE STANDARDS

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR PMAA’S WASHINGTON CONFERENCE AND DAY ON THE HILL SCHEDULED FOR MAY

 

TRANSPORTATION SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR SAYS GAS TAX INCREASE IS POSSIBLE

 

BILL FILED TO BLOCK FEDERAL "WATERS" EXPANSION

 

WE’VE RECEIVED OUR FIRST SILENT AUCTION CONTRIBUTIONS FOR 2015!

 

FEDERATED INSURANCE PARTNERS WITH J.J.KELLER TO OFFER EXPANDED SELECTION OF RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

 

U.S. DOT ANNOUNCES RANDOM DRUG AND ALCOHOL TEST RATES FOR 2015

 

PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: LIFELOCK
 

 
 

 
 

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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

SENATE APPROVES KEYSTONE BILL
House Likely to Act Soon

Yesterday, the Senate approved TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL Pipeline by a bipartisan vote of 62 – 36 which represents a significant victory for pipeline supporters. Nine Democrats joined all Republicans to approve the legislation. Democrats in support included: Michael Bennet of Colorado, Tom Carper of Delaware, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia. President Obama has promised to veto the legislation which would require 67 votes to override him. Obama has also said he wants to wait until the State Department review is completed before deciding on whether to approve construction of the pipeline. Eight other federal agencies are reviewing the Keystone project and have until Monday to finish comments.

The House has already approved their own pipeline version by a vote of 266 – 153 on January 9. Differences between the two versions will need to be resolved before the legislation is sent to President Obama. The House could just vote on the Senate bill and send it to the President’s desk.

PMAA fully supports the immediate approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Although President Obama has promised to veto the Keystone XL pipeline bill, some political insiders believe Obama might ultimately approve the pipeline in return for some concessions to Democratic priorities
  

PMAA TESTIFIES BEFORE EPA ON OZONE STANDARDS

On Thursday, PMAA Director of Government Relations Rob Underwood testified before the EPA regarding the proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and how it would impact prices at the pump. Underwood highlighted that the proposed ozone standards will place an unfair economic burden on both petroleum marketers and consumers. Reformulated gasoline (RFG) and low-Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) gasoline are two of the common transportation strategies that have been implemented to reduce ozone concentrations and they carry with it – higher prices compared to conventional gasoline.

Underwood said that before RFG and lower RVP mandates were adopted during the mid-1990s, the logistics of fuel distribution were relatively simple. Gasoline was fungible. When one area of the country was experiencing higher demand, it was easy to redirect more gasoline from another area to meet it. With the mandated push for RFG and lower RVP fuels, the United States now has over 30 boutique fuels which severely disrupts fuels distribution efficiency. This disruption results in severe economic harm to retailers near the borders of designated counties. Should the agency adopt a lower standard, RFG and/or lower RVP gasoline would likely be required in more areas of the country.

The current 75 ppb ozone standard is working, but has not been fully implemented. Therefore, Underwood argued, “EPA should leave the current standard for ozone in place until at least 85 percent of counties currently in nonattainment status can comply. The economic consequences from a new lower ozone standard would be severe and will create bottlenecks and chaos in the gasoline marketplace.”

Legislation has been introduced this year to address these concerns. 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR PMAA’S WASHINGTON CONFERENCE AND DAY ON THE HILL SCHEDULED FOR MAY

PMAA’s 2015 annual Washington Conference and Day on the Hill will be held in Washington, DC from May 13-15. Our industry continues to have dozens of important legislative and regulatory issues to discuss with members of Congress and the Day on the Hill continues to be the primary focus of this conference.

The meeting will commence with an opening session / issues briefing followed by region meetings on the afternoon of May 13. The last event of the first day is our welcome reception including our PAC silent auction fundraiser! On the morning of May 14, there will be a buffet breakfast and a supplemental issues briefing in case you were not available to attend the opening session briefing on May 13. Marketers and association executives will then head to Capitol Hill for visits with their members of Congress. Please be sure to make these appointments at your earliest convenience. There will be a hospitality suite and luncheon on the Hill. On the evening of May 14, we will honor our 2015 PMAA Chair, Grady Gaubert. Our conference will conclude after the PMAA Board of Directors meet on May 15 following a buffet breakfast and committee meetings.

You can find the registration forms and instructions along with all related details for Washington Conference and Day on the Hill here. 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 we have had an excellent response in attendance. See you in DC in the spring! 
  

TRANSPORTATION SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR SAYS GAS TAX INCREASE IS POSSIBLE

Senate Environment and Public Works, Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Chairman David Vitter (R-LA) reported during a hearing on Wednesday that a gas tax increase could pass "if paired with a lower-middle class and middle-class tax cut" to offset the costs for consumers.

Otherwise repatriation or additional domestic energy production with the royalties directed to the Highway Trust Fund are the other viable solutions according to Senator Vitter.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox told panel members that with regards to the last Highway extension bill, "It was not the first short-term measure that has been passed. It was, by my count, the 32nd in the last six years. And as former mayor, I can tell you these short-term measures are doing to communities across America what the state DOT says they’re doing in Tennessee: killing their will to build...At this point, we must concern ourselves with the cumulative chilling effects of these short-term measures and this policy uncertainty. I urge you to make a hard pivot now, from the rearview mirror to the front windshield. Look at our aging system...In order for the system to be as good as the American people, we must do something dramatic. To hell with the politics."      

BILL FILED TO BLOCK FEDERAL "WATERS" EXPANSION

Last year PMAA joined with a coalition representing a broad range of businesses, industries, and commercial interests to voice strong opposition to the revised definition of “Waters of the United States” proposed by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE). Many petroleum marketers with bulk storage will be adversely affected by the revised definition. At the most fundamental level, the proposal as written represents an unjustified expansion of Clean Water Act jurisdiction far beyond the limits of federal regulation explicitly established by Congress and affirmed by the courts. The proposal would, for the first time, give federal agencies direct authority over land use decisions that Congress has intentionally preserved to the States. It would intrude so far into traditional state and local land use authority that it is difficult to imagine that Congress intended this outcome.

This week Representative Gosar (R-AZ) introduced legislation to address our concerns. H.R. 594, the "United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act" would prevent the EPA and Corps of Engineers from improperly expanding the Clean Water Act (CWA) and seizing jurisdiction over water that is currently under control of states and private ownership. The bill has broad support and garnered 114 bipartisan cosponsors in less than 48 hours.

Upon introduction of his bill, Gosar stated, “This blatant federal overreach would assert federal jurisdiction over nearly all areas with any hydrologic connection to downstream waters, including man-made constructions such as ditches, pipes and farmland ponds. Contrary to claims made by the EPA and the Corps, this would directly contradict prior U.S. Supreme Court decisions, which imposed limits on the extent of federal CWA authority."    

WE’VE RECEIVED OUR FIRST SILENT AUCTION CONTRIBUTIONS FOR 2015!

PMAA SBC PAC Co-Chairs Brad Bell and Michael Fields thank Lea Wilson and the Washington Oil Marketers Association (WOMA) for providing this year’s first PMAA Small Business Committee (SBC) PAC Silent Auction items! This is the second year in a row that WOMA has been the first contributor to the Silent Auction!

Women, you are going to love these auction items, and Gentlemen, you are going to want to bid on these for the special woman in your life! WOMA contributed a stunning Fred Meyer Jewelers sterling silver necklace and earrings. The necklace and earrings offer a beautiful and bold look that is sure to stand out.

The Auction will take place in conjunction with PMAA’s Washington Conference on May 13 during the welcome reception. If you have items that you would like to contribute for the Silent Auction, please contact Sabrina Pitcher or 703-351-8000.
 

FEDERATED INSURANCE PARTNERS WITH J.J.KELLER TO OFFER EXPANDED SELECTION OF RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

Federated Insurance is excited to announce a partnership with leading transportation, safety, and compliance professionals J.J. Keller & Associates Inc.® to offer Federated clients another source of employee risk management training for any type or size of business.

As of January 1, 2015, Federated clients can access an extensive library of complimentary streaming videos and computer-based training. Clients simply log in to Federated’s Shield Network® and enter required user information for instant access to nearly 500 Training on Demand videos and interactive learning courses.

J. J. Keller has been a respected name in regulatory and compliance management since 1953. Researched, developed, and produced by J.J. Keller, their Training on Demand sets the standard for quality, compliance, and training comprehension, and is used by thousands of companies worldwide. Launched in January 2007, Training on Demand quickly grew to encompass a wide variety of real-world topics. J.J. Keller is known for professional materials, excellent customer service, and providing user-friendly technical support.

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 1-800-533-0472.

U.S. DOT ANNOUNCES RANDOM DRUG AND ALCOHOL TEST RATES FOR 2015

The FMCSA this week announced CDL driver minimum random drug and alcohol testing rates for 2015. The test rates are the minimum percentage of employees subject to U.S. DOT drug and alcohol requirements who must undergo a random test during the upcoming calendar year. The number of random tests conducted by CDL employers for 2015 must equal at least 50% for drugs and 10% for alcohol. These are the same rates required in 2014. FMCSA was expected to lower the 2015 random drug testing rate since positive test results for drivers declined during 2013 and 2014. FMCSA said that additional data is required before the random drug testing rate is lowered, possibly next year.

Employers of both intrastate and interstate drivers requiring a CDL license are responsible for implementing and conducting driver drug and alcohol testing programs. Employers may do this using their own employees or contract services, or by joining together in a drug and alcohol testing consortium that provides services to all member companies. Any individual conducting the drug and alcohol tests must be trained to operate evidential breath testing (EBT) equipment and be proficient in breath testing procedures.

Random alcohol testing must be conducted just before, during, or just after a driver's performance of safety-sensitive duties including the transportation, loading or unloading of hazardous materials. The driver is randomly selected for testing from a "pool" of subject drivers. The random testing dates and times are unannounced and must be reasonably spread throughout the year.

Employers are also required to conduct pre-employment drug tests, post accident, reasonable suspicion, return to duty and follow up drug and alcohol tests on CDL drivers under certain circumstances. The test rates for random testing do not apply to pre-employment, post accident, reasonable suspicion, return to duty or follow up tests. Instead these tests are performed on a per occurrence basis.

For more information click here

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