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PMAA's weekly update on important national industry issues.

 
PMAA's Weekly Review - August 28, 2015  [WR-15-34]

In This Issue:
 

CONGRESS TO RESUME LEGISLATIVE AGENDA AFTER LABOR DAY

 

HIGHWAY FUNDING STILL IN DOUBT

 

VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION TO WEAKENING DEBIT REFORM

 

VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION TO MOVING THE BIODIESEL TAX CREDIT FROM BLENDERS TO PRODUCERS

 

FEDERATED’S RISK MANAGEMENT CORNER

 

PMAA PARTNER SPOTLIGHT INTRODUCING: TRI-CITIES PETROLEUM

 

WORLD CLASS SPEAKER LINEUP AT FOCUS ON COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE 2015 ON OCTOBER 27-29

 

PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: LIFELOCK
 

 
 

 
 

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Telephone:
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Petroleum Marketers Association of America

(PMAA)

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Arlington, Virginia 22209

CONGRESS TO RESUME LEGISLATIVE AGENDA AFTER LABOR DAY

With only a few work weeks left until the end of the fiscal year (ends September 30th), Congress has a lot to fit into a short time frame. Following the debate on the Iran nuclear weapons deal, Congress must fund the government and address highway funding authority which expires on October 29th. Further, House Energy and Commerce Committee leadership has been working carefully to come up with a bipartisan energy bill that is likely to move within the first few weeks in September. PMAA spent much of August meeting with Congressional staff in preparation for these and other issues  

HIGHWAY FUNDING STILL IN DOUBT

A motor fuels tax increase is something lawmakers on Capitol Hill, especially conservatives, will try to avoid at all costs. The 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax has been the main source of transportation funding for decades, but it has not been increased since 1993. If the gas tax were to have been indexed to inflation since it was enacted in 1993, drivers would be paying about 30 cents per gallon on their gasoline purchases now.

Congress has been grappling since 2005 with a transportation funding shortfall that is estimated to be about $16 billion per year, and it has not passed a transportation bill that lasts longer than two years in that span. Since 2009, Congress has pumped $73 billion into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) from the General Treasury fund and other budgetary maneuvers given that the motor fuels excise tax is inadequate to maintain the HTF’s solvency. Transportation advocates are pushing for a gas tax increase to pay for a long-term transportation bill, but House and Senate leadership in Congress have all but ruled out a tax hike.

Finding the necessary funding to pay for a long term highway bill is still in doubt. Before Congress left town for August recess, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced legislation known as the “TRAFFIC Act” that would nearly double the 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax to help pay for road and transit projects. Carper's bill would increase the gas tax by 4 cents per year for the next four years, resulting in a 16-cents-per-gallon increase by 2020. However, Carper’s legislation is unlikely to move this year.

Although PMAA does not support an increase in the motor fuels excise tax, if there is an increase, it should be used only for infrastructure and all fuels should be taxed equally via a BTU equivalent tax. The bottom line is that it is almost a certainty that Congress will not pass a gas tax increase this Congress.

VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION TO WEAKENING DEBIT REFORM

Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is trying to weaken debit card interchange fee reform “the Durbin amendment”, which was included in the “Dodd-Frank Act.” Following passage of Dodd-Frank, the Fed ultimately provided some consumer relief by capping debit interchange fees at 21 cents per transaction and 0.05 percent of the transaction plus an extra penny for card issuers for fraud prevention. Banks and credit unions with $10 billion or less were exempted under the law.

Sen. Shelby’s language is included in the Senate Appropriations Committee FY 2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill which passed out of committee on July 23 by a 16 to 14 party line vote. The language would exempt more banks from the fee reform by indexing the $10 billion asset threshold to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which will harm consumers and retailers by making fewer banks subject to the fee caps. PMAA, along with the Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC), is adamantly opposed to any weakening of the Durbin amendment.

Please contact your Senators and ask that they oppose the Shelby language change to debit card interchange fee reform that is in the appropriations bill. Click here to take action.

VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION TO MOVING THE BIODIESEL TAX CREDIT FROM BLENDERS TO PRODUCERS

Before Congress left town for August recess, the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill by a vote of 23 to 3 that would extend fifty-two tax provisions that expired on December 31, 2014. Unfortunately, the Senate Finance Committee adopted an amendment sponsored by Senators Grassley (R-IA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John Thune (R-SD) that would move the credit from the blender to the producer level.

PMAA is opposed to the amendment because the credit will not likely be passed on to the marketer if it is taken at the production level. The language would also disconnect the credit from biodiesel consumption and simply be a subsidy for domestic production, which is contrary to the original intent of the biodiesel tax credit to promote the use of biodiesel in the marketplace. Finally, the change will likely violate several U.S. World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations.

PMAA is working closely with NATSO and SIGMA to maintain the biodiesel credit at the blender level. We would also appreciate it if you would write members of Congress. Click here to do so.

FEDERATED’S RISK MANAGEMENT CORNER
Are there holes in your Umbrella policy?

When was the last time you reviewed your umbrella limits? Four years ago? Five years? More? That’s probably four or five years too many. Why? Can you name anything that costs less than it did five years ago? Probably not. That goes for legal costs and settlements too—they continue to increase exponentially.

Accidents happen. How they happen and the outcome typically defines the extent of the damages. For example, picture a slip and fall incident at your business, then imagine the claim difference between “just” a broken arm and a claim that involves a head injury resulting in traumatic brain damage. Or, what might be the consequences if your employee driver was in a head-on collision with a single-occupant vehicle versus one carrying a family of four?

Please click here to read this article in its entirety. 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 800.533.0472.
    

PMAA PARTNER SPOTLIGHT INTRODUCING: TRI-CITIES PETROLEUM
Introducing a New Partner Member: Tri-Cities Petroleum

The Officers, Executive Committee, and PMAA staff are pleased to welcome PMAA’s new National Partner, Tri-Cities Petroleum, Inc. a family owned business founded in 1998 by Gorman Barger in Weber City, Virginia. Tri-Cities Petroleum delivers quality fuels to our customers in five southeastern states. We are staffed and equipped to be responsive to the fuel needs of our customers which include industrial, commercial, small business, residential and agricultural. Our people are dedicated, well trained, courteous and focused on safety. We are ready and able to contribute to the success of your business.

For additional information, please call 1.800.951.7112. 

WORLD CLASS SPEAKER LINEUP AT FOCUS ON COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE 2015 ON OCTOBER 27-29

Leading petroleum business experts Meridian Associates know how to succeed. They also know a profitable company derives from a thriving company culture. Meridian will present a world class speaker lineup at the Focus on Competitive Advantage (FOCA) 2015 event to help business professionals learn how their company can profit from happiness in the workplace on October 27-29, 2015, in Tucson, Arizona.

Meridian’s highly respected FOCA event, has spanned over two decades and is dedicated to owners, CEOs, CFOs and executive team members who are focused on driving excellence and profit into their organizations. Profit from Happiness is the theme at FOCA 2015.

FOCA 2015 will not only provide participants with an inside understanding at what makes profitable companies successful, it will also provide invaluable networking, problem solving and idea creating discussions that will help launch those in the petroleum industry to the next level. FOCA 2015 participants will hear from several world class speakers. Please read the full press release here.

For more information on Focus on Competitive Advantage 2015 visit www.BestPetroEvent.com. To learn how Meridian can help you, please contact PMAA’s Platinum Partner, Meridian Associates, Inc., at 800.728.9008 or visit.

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