Sponsored by:
BP Products North America
who generously supports
PMAA's work in our Nation's Capital.

PMAA's weekly update on important national industry issues.

 
PMAA's Weekly Review - December  19, 2014  [WR-14-50]

 

 

In This Issue:
 

DOE FORECASTING DECLINE IN 2015 GASOLINE CONSUMPTION

 

SUBCOMMITTEE CREATED TO EXAMINE ADMINISTRATION'S ENERGY POLICIES

 

THE EUROPEAN UNION AGRESSIVELY LIMITS SWIPE FEES

 

KEYSTONE CONSIDERATION FRONT AND CENTER NEXT YEAR

 

SENATE PASSES TAX EXTENDERS PACKAGE

 

PRESIDENT SIGNS 2015 SPENDING BILL

 

FMCSA ELIMINATES REQUIREMENT FOR A WRITTEN POST-TRIP AND PRE-TRIP VEHICLE INSPECTION REPORTS WHERE NO DEFECT IS FOUND

 

PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: Worldpay
 

 
 

 
 

A new choice for petroleum marketers.  The Spirit brand is offered by the Petroleum Marketers Oil Company, LLC (PMOCO).

(CLICK HERE)

 
 
 

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

DOE FORECASTING DECLINE IN 2015 GASOLINE CONSUMPTION

DOE’s Energy Information Agency is now forecasting about a 30,000-barrels a day decline in gasoline consumption in 2015. This further supports maintaining the corn-based ethanol mandate at 13 billion gallons to ease the negative consequences of the blendwall. In 2013, the U.S. consumed approximately 134.5 billion gallons of gasoline which was six percent less than the record high of 142.35 billion gallons set in 2007  

SUBCOMMITTEE CREATED TO EXAMINE ADMINISTRATION'S ENERGY POLICIES

Incoming Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has decided to change the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's subcommittee focus areas and to create a new subcommittee that will review the energy and environmental policies of the EPA, DOE, Interior, and the Department of Agriculture.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) will chair the new panel, which is expected to examine regulations that go around the congressional process, with a particular focus on the EPA.

THE EUROPEAN UNION AGRESSIVELY LIMITS SWIPE FEES

This week the 28-nation European Union reached an initial agreement that fees charged to merchants for accepting consumer card payments will be limited to 0.2 percent for debit and 0.3 percent for credit. In addition, member states may set a lower maximum or a fixed five cent cap. The agreement will not apply to one bank only cards such as Diners and American Express or for cards used only for business expenses. Once the final endorsement of the agreement is made the new fee caps will apply six months after final adoption.   

KEYSTONE CONSIDERATION FRONT AND CENTER NEXT YEAR

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the first order of business in the Senate next year will be legislation that would give Congress the authority to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. McConnell said he will allow an open amendment process which will allow any Senator to offer amendments to the underlying legislation on the Senate floor. Outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) continuously blocked both Democrat and Republican amendments to the Keystone legislation which ultimately prevented the legislation from moving forward.

PMAA fully supports the immediate approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Some political insiders believe that because the Obama Administration did not issue an official veto threat to a Keystone approval bill this Fall 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.      

SENATE PASSES TAX EXTENDERS PACKAGE
President to Sign Bill Into Law

On Tuesday evening, the Senate approved a one-year tax extenders package (applies to calendar year 2014 only) that would revive over 50 expired tax incentives by a vote of 76 – 16. The House passed an identical bill earlier this month by an overwhelming vote of 378 – 46. The extender’s package includes the one-dollar-per gallon biodiesel blender’s tax credit, a 30 percent investment tax credit for alternative fuel pumps, bonus depreciation, and Section 179 expensing. The Senate adjourned for the year after passing tax extenders. President Obama will sign the legislation into law soon.

PMAA will issue a detailed report on how to claim the biodiesel blender’s tax credit once IRS guidance is available.    

PRESIDENT SIGNS 2015 SPENDING BILL

This week, the President signed into law a $1.1 trillion spending package which will fund the government through September 30, 2015. The House had approved the measure last week before leaving town and the Senate approved it late Saturday night. The omnibus spending bill provides $8.14 billion for the EPA. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) received a funding boost of $35 million bringing its budget to $250 million and the Department of Energy (DOE) received $10.2 billion. The Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund received approximately $92 million, the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve received $7.6 million and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), $3.39 billion.

Several policy riders were added to the 2015 Omnibus package including an amendment by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to suspend for one year the hours-of-service (HOS) restart changes that became effective last year. The proposal would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to justify in a report to Congress how the changes enhance public safety. Originally, the HOS regulations allowed drivers to use the 34-hour restart without restrictions. However, the FMCSA adopted regulatory changes limiting use of the 34-hour restart to just once per week and requiring the restart to include two overnight rest periods between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM. As a result of the FMCSA changes, depending on the time of day their final shift ends, drivers are now required to take more than 34 hours off duty before they can return to work. The change greatly reduces the flexibility petroleum marketers need to schedule drivers efficiently and PMAA fully supported the policy rider’s inclusion.

Another policy rider included in the omnibus package was limited language preventing EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) from expanding its jurisdiction over “Waters of the United States.” 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. PMAA supported the language in the omnibus spending package.

Finally, one policy rider was included that would gut a critical Dodd-Frank reform provision to prevent the big Wall Street banks from being allowed to use insured deposits to gamble in the commodity futures markets. Under the Dodd-Frank reform law, the big banks must segregate their swaps desks so that taxpayers won’t be left on the hook if their bets go south. PMAA opposed its inclusion; however, House and Senate negotiators cut a deal to increase funding for the CFTC in return for the policy rider’s inclusion

FMCSA ELIMINATES REQUIREMENT FOR A WRITTEN POST-TRIP AND PRE-TRIP VEHICLE INSPECTION REPORTS WHERE NO DEFECT IS FOUND

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a new rule that eliminates the need for drivers to submit written daily pre-trip and post-trip motor vehicle inspection reports when no defect or deficiency in vehicle or equipment is found. The old federal regulations under 49 CFR 396.11 required CDL drivers to file and submit written pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspection reports that motor carriers were required to keep on file. The new FMCSA rule eliminates the need for a written report except where a defect or deficiency is found in the vehicle or equipment. The new rule is effective December 18, 2014, for interstate petroleum marketers.

PMAA submitted comments on the proposed rule that supported the changes the FMCSA adopted.

COMPLIANCE:
Interstate Carriers -
The rule applies to interstate petroleum marketers and became effective December 18, 2014.

Intrastate Carriers – The FMCSA regulations do not directly require intrastate petroleum marketers to keep written pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspection reports. However, in order to receive certain federal highway funds, states must adopt FMCSA regulations and apply them to intrastate only carriers. States are given three years to adopt FMCSA regulations for intrastate carriers. Some states adopt changes to FMCSA regulations automatically, while others require changes to go through state regulatory and/or legislative process. Intrastate marketers should contact their state motor carrier office to determine the status of the DVIR rule in their state.

Pre-Trip and Post Trip Inspections Still Required – Drivers must still conduct daily pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspections. However, the reports are no longer required to be in writing unless the driver finds a defect or deficiency with the vehicle or its equipment. If the driver finds a defect or deficiency, a written report must be kept on file at the operator’s principal place of business.

Duty to Inspect, Maintain and Repair Vehicles Remains Unchanged - Petroleum marketers who transport fuel are still required to have systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance programs (including preventative maintenance) and maintain records to prove measures are being taken to reduce the risk of mechanical problems with vehicles and equipment. In addition, marketers are still required to review driver vehicle inspections that list defects or deficiencies and take appropriate action before the vehicle is dispatched again. The FMCSA is not making any changes to requirements for periodic or annual inspections, duty to maintain and documentation for the individuals who perform periodic inspections and individuals responsible for performing brake-related inspection, repair, and maintenance tasks.

Effective Date – Beginning December 18, 2014, CDL drivers are no longer required to submit daily written pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspection reports where no defect or safety problem with the vehicle or equipment is found.

IMPORTANT! Drivers must still conduct daily written pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspections. The difference is they are no longer required to be in writing and on file unless a defect is found.

IMPORTANT! Petroleum marketers must still keep on fill pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspection reports on any vehicle where a defect is found.

IMPORTANT! Petroleum marketers who wish to voluntarily continue keeping daily written pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspection reports may do so.

PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: Worldpay
FREE Webinar on PCI 3.0 on January 13, 2015 2:00-3:00pm EST

Please attend PMAA’s National Partner and Member Services Vendor Worldpay’s free webinar to learn about PCI 3.0 and tips on strengthening your transaction security.

For all business that accepts credit/debit cards – the steps toward PCI compliance are changing with the January 1, 2015 introduction of PCI 3.0. However, PCI compliance doesn’t equal secure transmittal of cardholder data all the time.

There are other things you should consider to help protect your business and customers’ financial integrity. Attend our FREE webinar, “What you need to know about PCI 3.0 and its implication on PCI compliance and network security” on Tuesday, January 13 from 2:00-3:00pm EST. A representative from PhoenixSentry will explain how the new PCI 3.0 compliance mandates apply to your business and offer tips on establishing protocols to strengthen your transaction security.

This webinar is for Level 1-4 merchants and, if you want to attend this free webinar, you MUST register for it here.

Should you have any additional questions on this webinar or any other petroleum solutions, please contact PMAA’s Worldpay Executive Client Manager, Glenda Preen at 972.325.1801 or Worldpay at 877.282.7362.

 

PMAA Home Page | Opt-Out

© 2014. All Rights Reserved. PETROLEUM MARKETERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA