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PMAA’s weekly update on important national industry issues.
April 29, 2016 [WR-16-17]
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April 29, 2016
Issue: WR-16-17

PLACARDING LANGUAGE INCLUDED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE BILL

ARGUMENTS BEGIN IN FEDERAL COURT PROCEEDINGS ON OZONE STANDARD

URGE YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO SIGN ON TO LETTER OPPOSING SNAP RULE

BUSINESS TAX PARITY ACT

MASTERS WIND VEST FOR MAY 18 SILENT AUCTION

EIA’S ADAM SIEMINSKI TO SPEAK TO PMAA MEMBERS DURING MAY CONFERENCE

PMAA WASHINGTON CONFERENCE AND DAY ON THE HILL IS ALMOST HERE!

WORLD CLASS PHEASANT HUNT IN SOUTH DAKOTA

AUTOGRAPHED SUPER BOWL 50 PEYTON MANNING FOOTBALL


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The Weekly Review
is published every Friday by
The Petroleum Marketers
Association of America

(PMAA)

1901 North Fort Myer Drive

Suite 500

Arlington, Virginia 22209

 

1-703-351-8000

PLACARDING LANGUAGE INCLUDED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE BILL

Last week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unanimously approved legislation to provide a four-year reauthorization of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) pipeline safety program. H.R. 4937, the “Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016,” also included language of particular importance to PMAA.

The language would require the Secretary of Transportation to issue an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to take public comment on a petition that calls for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to rescind a July 2015 Interpretative Guidance so that marketers may resume placarding to the lowest flash point for both split loads and alternating straight loads of diesel fuel and gasoline.

In March the Senate passed the "SAFE PIPES Act,” (S. 2276) marking a significant victory for PMAA. Included in the bill is language that was initially requested by PMAA. Section 4 of the bill is language that rescinds a recent Interpretative Guidance on placarding on cargo tank trucks. The language would force PHMSA to revert back to placarding to the lowest flash point for both split loads and alternating straight loads of diesel fuel and gasoline. This is a cost saving provision of $3,450 per cargo tank truck, per year for marketers because they can ship diesel fuel, gasoline and heating fuel in different compartments of the same cargo tank vehicle under a gasoline placard, as well as ship straight loads of gasoline or diesel under the gasoline placard instead of affixing or switching multiple product placards.

PMAA prefers the Senate language over the House as the changes would occur more quickly under the Senate’s direction. In making this point during the House Committee mark-up, Congressman Rob Woodall (R-GA) championed the issue. Click here to see the video.

Some states have already begun enforcing the Interpretative Guidance and it is only a matter of time before all states do so. PMAA is working to fix the problem before other states begin to enforce the placarding change. The penalty for a violation is $2,500. The states that have already begun enforcement will also benefit from the Senate fix as drivers will be able to resume placarding only to the lowest flashpoint for straight loads of gasoline and diesel. Otherwise the industry will incur an $84 million cost the first year and $80 million every year thereafter in material and primarily labor costs.

PMAA has worked with the Department of Transportation (DOT) since the Interpretative Guidance was released in June 2015, and began working with Congress once it was clear that DOT could not make the change without statute. PMAA continues working with the House and the Senate regarding the final language.

ARGUMENTS BEGIN IN FEDERAL COURT PROCEEDINGS ON OZONE STANDARD

Arguments regarding EPA’s new ozone standard began in Federal court on April 22, with industry explaining why 70 parts per billion (ppb) is too low and environmentalists arguing it is too high. EPA is expected to respond by July 22 and a decision is expected next year.

On October 1, 2015, the EPA set the new ozone standard at 70 ppb, a reduction from the 75 ppb level set in 2008. Although the 70 ppb standard is not as low as many feared and is considered a compromise between industry and environmental interests, the ozone final rule still places a burden on some counties which could mean RFG and lower RVP fuels. In December a coalition of industry groups lead by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) sued the EPA over the finalized ozone standard. Joining the Chamber and NAM was the American Coke & Coal Chemicals Institute, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, American Petroleum Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America, National Oilseed Processors Association, Portland Cement Association, and the Utility Air Regulatory Group. The groups argue that the new standard is unattainable and will result in job losses. Last year, five states led by Arizona, also sued the EPA over the new ozone standard, claiming it would push too many counties into nonattainment.

PMAA has argued before the EPA, the White House and Congress that the EPA's 2015 ozone standard is unattainable and will result in more boutique fuels and higher prices at the pump. PMAA also opposed lowering the ozone standard in written comments to the White House and will continue to support legislation such as H.R. 4775 that would roll back the new ozone mandate, and H.R. 4000, which would bring certainty to states and localities by allowing adequate time for implementation of the ozone standard and resulting air quality benefits.

URGE YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO SIGN ON TO LETTER OPPOSING SNAP RULE

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) have penned a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon expressing concerns with the proposed Enhancing Retailer Standards in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rule. The letter highlights the negative impacts some of the provisions in the proposed rule would have on retailers as well as lower income families.

By law, the rule, once finalized, will require retailers to meet these conditions in order to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Retailers must offer for sale on a continuous basis a variety of at least seven foods in each of the four categories (1. dairy products; 2. meat, poultry, or fish; 3. fruits or vegetables; 4. bread or cereals) (Current law requires only three items in each category). It also requires SNAP retailers to stock at least one “perishable” food item in at least three of the four staple food categories. (Current law requires perishable items in only two of the staple food categories).

Unfortunately, USDA also exceeded the intent of Congress and added these unnecessary requirements in the proposed rule: “multiple ingredient” items (cold pizza) would not be counted in any staple food category and would not go toward meeting a retailer’s “depth of stock” requirements. Currently, multiple ingredient foods can be counted under the category of the main ingredient. In addition, the proposal would require that retailers always have six different units of any food item that are in the store and are counted under the four categories of eligibility for SNAP participation. This means that retailers who are currently required to stock 28 items on a continuous basis would have to stock 168 units of single-ingredient food items at all times in order to participate in the program.

PMAA asks that you reach out to your members of Congress to express your concerns regarding the proposed rule and request that the member sign on to the Conaway/Peterson letter. Your member can sign on to the letter by contacting either Jadi Chapman with Chairman Conaway’s office or Lisa Shelton with Ranking Member Peterson’s office.

In addition, PMAA urges you to submit your own comments on the proposed rule. Comments are due May 18th. PMAA encourages you to use this template (which is a WORD file that can be personally edited) and then go to this link to comment.

BUSINESS TAX PARITY ACT

This week Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the “Main Street Fairness Act” to help ensure that businesses are on a level playing field by restoring rate parity between small business and the Fortune 500.

Buchanan is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and his bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), Chairman of the Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee. Buchanan recognizes that the majority of businesses report through the individual side of the tax code, not the corporate side where corporations pay a maximum tax rate of 35 percent, while small business owners pay up to 39.6 percent under the individual income tax code on top of additional taxes on earnings and investments.

Although it is highly unlikely that Congress will undertake comprehensive tax reform this year, Buchanan’s bill will provide an important placeholder for the upcoming discussions on reform.

MASTERS WIND VEST FOR MAY 18 SILENT AUCTION

The Masters Tournament is widely known as the most famous and prestigious golf tournament in the world. The most important shot in golf is looking the part. That is why Bill Fleischli and the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association/Illinois Association of Convenience Stores have contributed a stunning Masters Tech Collection vest with contemporary designs combined with cutting edge fabrics that are engineered to provide supreme performance on and off the course for this year’s PMAA PAC Silent Auction.

PMAA SBC PAC Co-Chairs Brad Bell and Tim Keigher urge you to contribute as well, and they wish to remind you that donations can include the use of personal vacation properties! If you have items that you would like to contribute for the PMAA Small Business Committee (SBC) PAC Silent Auction to be held May 18 during the PMAA conference in DC, please contact Sabrina Pitcher or 703-351-8000.

EIA’S ADAM SIEMINSKI TO SPEAK TO PMAA MEMBERS DURING MAY CONFERENCE

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Administrator Adam Sieminski will speak to PMAA members on May 18, the opening day of PMAA’s May 18-20 Washington, DC conference. 

Sieminski was sworn in on June 4, 2012, as the eighth administrator of the EIA. EIA is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policy-making, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. EIA provides a wide range of information and data products covering energy production, stocks, demand, imports, exports, and prices. EIA also prepares analyses and special reports on topics of current interest.

In 2006, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman appointed Mr. Sieminski to the National Petroleum Council (NPC), an advisory group to the secretary of energy, where he helped author the NPC's Global Oil and Gas Study: The Hard Truths. Sieminski has also served as senior director for energy and environment on the staff of the National Security Council, the chief energy economist for Deutsche Bank, the senior energy analyst for NatWest Securities in the United States, a senior adviser to the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonpartisan policy think tank in Washington, DC. He is a senior fellow and former president of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics, and served as president of the National Association of Petroleum Investment Analysts.

PMAA looks forward to hearing Administrator Sieminski’s perspectives and report, and to the Q & A that will follow his presentation.

PMAA’s 2016 annual Washington Conference and Day on the Hill will be held in Washington, DC from May 18-20. Click here to register for the event.

PMAA WASHINGTON CONFERENCE AND DAY ON THE HILL IS ALMOST HERE!

PMAA’s 2016 annual Washington Conference and Day on the Hill will be held in Washington, DC from May 18-20. Our industry continues to have many 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 and Region meetings in the afternoon of May 18 followed by a welcome reception including our PAC silent auction fundraiser. In addition, PMAA will hear from Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA), on the 18th. On the morning of May 19, there will be another issues briefing for those who were not able to attend the opening session. Marketers and association executives will then head to Capitol Hill for visits with their Congressional delegations. Please be sure to make these appointments as soon as possible. There will be a hospitality suite and luncheon on the Hill. On the evening of May 19, we will honor our new PMAA Chair Mike Bailey. Our conference will conclude after the PMAA Board of Directors meet on May 20 following a buffet breakfast and committee meetings.

If you have not registered to attend the meeting, now is the time to do so by clicking here for our beautiful new event website which includes dynamic online event registration with secure event payment processing through Cvent. It is very user friendly and we are confident you will find it more effective, professional and easy to use. We want to make your conference experience smooth and easy.

If you plan on attending PMAA’s annual Washington Conference and Day on the Hill, please take the time now to make your room reservation through A Room with A View (our overflow hotel company) at 800.780.4343. They serve as our waitlist so when rooms become available, members will be moved to Washington Marriott at Metro Center.

We look forward to seeing many of you next month in Washington, DC!

WORLD CLASS PHEASANT HUNT IN SOUTH DAKOTA

PMAA SBC PAC Co-Chairs Brad Bell and Tim Keigher are pleased to announce a particularly exciting addition to our PMAA SBC PAC Auction, an all-expense paid, multi-day pheasant hunt. Orion Food Systems, a PMAA Silver Corporate Partner, is the generous contributor of this one of a kind experience.

If you need a unique getaway you need to Bid! Bid! Bid! The winning bidder and a guest will enjoy an all-inclusive 4 days/3 nights lodging with 2 full days of hunting. It’s a getaway from the daily grind and you will enjoy the sights and sounds of nature and also experience acres of prime South Dakota pheasant hunting ground. If you are in the midst of multiple flushes of wild South Dakota pheasants, it’s up to you to shoot straight and put those ringnecks down! Don’t let this opportunity pass you by - Bid! Bid! Bid!

If you have items that you would like to contribute for the PMAA Small Business Committee (SBC) PAC Silent Auction to be held May 18 during the PMAA conference in DC, please contact Sabrina Pitcher or 703-351-8000.

AUTOGRAPHED SUPER BOWL 50 PEYTON MANNING FOOTBALL

Get your PMAA Marketer Defense Fund (MDF) raffle tickets now for a chance to win a Super Bowl 50 football autographed by the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader, two-time Super Bowl Champion and Future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning! In addition to the football, you will also receive a display case!

The PMAA Marketer Defense Fund (MDF) will hold a raffle during the Washington, DC May 18-20 conference and the raffle winner will be identified during the conference on May 20. 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 autographed Super Bowl 50 Peyton Manning football and display case.

PMAA thanks Mike Rud and the North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association for contributing the autographed football and display case to the PMAA MDF. 

The proceeds of the raffle will benefit the PMAA MDF. PMAA established the Marketer Defense Fund, sometimes referred as the 535 Fund or MDF, as a method to obtain corporate donations for priority projects. The MDF Program is different from PMAA’s Small Business Committee PAC and is designed to supplement PMAA’s lobbying budget to cover priority projects, i.e., some aspects of a political event or for public relations campaigns related to a legislative initiative. For example, part of the monies collected for the MDF have been used for research projects to defeat regulatory initiatives such as an efforts to mandate a 10 micron diesel filter, wetlines retrofit, as well as automatic temperature compensation (ATC) at retail. The MDF has saved marketers approximately $1.3 billion which equals $162,500 per marketer. Additionally, the MDF has been used on:

  • A diesel fuel corrosion study
  • Hiring outside consultants to represent PMAA at several regulatory agencies
  • Paying for PMAA marketer travel for important underground storage tank (UST) meetings
  • Splash blending litigation
  • Interchange fee coalition activities
  • Supporting local charity events.

A marketer can make corporate contributions by check or credit card to this program and there is no limit on the amount of contribution. All the money is used to support PMAA lobbying goals. You can donate online by clicking here.

Tickets are $20 each or six for $100. Advanced tickets are available until May 16. Ticket sales will continue at PMAA’s conference in DC until the drawing on May 20. Tickets can be purchased with personal or corporate funds by MasterCard, VISA, American Express, cash or check (checks should be made out to the PMAA Marketer Defense Fund). To purchase tickets before May 16, please contact Susan Isard or 703-351-8000.

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