MATT BJORNSON APPOINTED TO PEI RP1200 COMMITTEE
Former PMAA Chairman and current North Dakota
Petroleum Marketers Association board member,
Matt Bjornson, was recently appointed to serve
on the Petroleum Equipment Institute’s (PEI)
Overfill, Release Detection and Release
Prevention Equipment Testing (RP1200) Committee
for 2016. Matt is co-owner of Bjornson Oil
Company, a third generation petroleum
distribution company, located in Cavalier, North
Matt’s extensive knowledge of UST equipment
design, installation, operation, repair and
maintenance makes him well qualified to serve on
the PEI RP1200 Committee. PMAA congratulates
Matt on this honor!
PMAA URGES PHMSA TO CHANGE PLACARDING INTERPRETATION
The U.S. DOT Pipeline and Hazardous
Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an
interpretive letter in June 2015 that eliminated the
long standing special exception for placarding to
the lowest flash point when hauling alternating
straight loads of diesel fuel and gasoline in a
cargo tank truck. Under the new interpretation,
placarding to the lowest flash point is now limited
to split loads of gasoline and diesel fuel shipped
in different compartments of the same cargo tank
shipment. This change in interpretation is causing
considerable confusion among marketers and state
enforcement authorities as to when it is proper to
display the UN1203 gasoline and the NA 1993 diesel
fuel placards on cargo tank trucks. Marketers have
for many years used the UN1203 placard for
alternating shipments of diesel fuel and gasoline
which is no longer allowed under the new
interpretation. State enforcement authorities are
split on whether to enforce the new interpretation,
leading to uneven enforcement within states and
between states. As a result, marketers are
increasingly being cited for improper placarding.
PMAA has been making progress on both the
legislative and regulatory fronts to correct the
situation and force PHMSA to go back to placarding
to the lowest flash point for both split loads and
alternating straight loads of diesel fuel and
gasoline. On Tuesday, PMAA signed a petition along
with the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and
the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) urging PHMSA
to reverse its interpretation.
Click here to read the letter.
Meanwhile, PMAA continues to work with House and
Senate Highway bill conferees on a legislative fix.
PMAA will continue to monitor the situation and
report when details become available.
PMAA OPPOSES GOVERNMENT INCREASES TO INSURANCE FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS
Last week, PMAA
joined other organizations in a Senate-wide letter opposing Senator Blumenthal’s
amendment #2826 to strike the provision in the FY 2016 Senate Department of
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies
Appropriations bill that requires the DOT to conduct a report to Congress before
proceeding to increase minimum insurance limits on truck and bus operators.
here to view the letter.
Section 135 of the bill requires the Secretary to provide a report to Congress
concerning the impact of raising the minimum financial responsibility (FR)
requirements for transporting passengers or property, including an assessment of
catastrophic crashes in which damages exceeded the insurance limits, the impact
of higher insurance limits on carriers and consumers, and the capacity of the
insurance industry to underwrite any proposed increase in current minimum
financial responsibility limits. The provision compels the DOT to review the
ramifications of raising minimum financial responsibility limits on highway
safety, industry, and consumers.
PMAA strongly supports section 135 to ensure FMCSA performs a diligent review of
minimum financial limit requirements before moving forward with rulemaking.
REPUBLICANS CALLING FOR U.S. CRUDE EXPORTS BAN REPEAL DESPITE OBAMA VETO THREAT
Conservative Senators are eyeing
upcoming legislation to force a measure on President Obama that would lift the
U.S. export ban on crude oil. The measure to lift the ban has already passed in
the House by a vote of 261-159.
“We have antiquated policies that were put in place in the 1970s that prohibit
us from exporting our crude oil, yet we have allies around the globe asking the
United States to provide them with a stable supply of energy,” said Republican
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) at an energy forum hosted by The American Council for
Capital Formation (ACCF). “We should change this policy in order for the U.S. to
be a global leader and to support our allies by making them less dependent on
energy from hostile nations.”
Senate Democrats are almost certain to filibuster the upcoming legislation
unless there is a compromise in which Democrats will receive passage of
legislation they would like in return. President Obama has already stated that
he would veto any legislation that would lift the ban on U.S. crude oil exports.
PMAA remains neutral on repealing the crude oil export ban.
URGE YOUR LAWMAKERS TO COSPONSOR THE “COMMON SENSE NUTRITION DISCLOSURE ACT”
week, the House Energy and Commerce committee passed
the “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act”
introduced by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) and
Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) by a vote of 36-12. This
bipartisan legislation modifies the Menu-Labeling
language in Obamacare to permit retailers to
identify a single primary menu while not having to
include nutrition labeling in other areas of the
store. Furthermore, the bill clarifies that
advertisements and posters do not need to be labeled
and provides flexibility in disclosing the caloric
content for variable menu items that come in
different flavors or varieties, and for combination
meals. Lastly, the bill ensures that retailers
acting in good faith are not penalized for
inadvertent errors in complying with the rule and
stipulates that individual store locations are not
required to have an employee “certify” that the
establishment has taken reasonable steps to comply
with the requirements.
The bill now moves to the House floor for a full
vote. This legislation is important because it gives
retailers the flexibility they need to comply with
the menu-labeling regulations. PMAA is pleased that
the bill was passed in Committee and is optimistic
that it will be passed on the House floor. Companion
legislation (S. 2217) was introduced in the Senate
by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Angus King (I-ME).
here to write Congress in support of
H.R. 2017 and S. 2217.
PMAA URGES CONGRESS TO OPPOSE THE BIODIESEL PRODUCER CREDIT
PMAA continues to
work with the Advanced Biofuels Association (AFBA), NATSO, SIGMA and NACS to
oppose moving the biodiesel blender credit to the producer level. Last week,
PMAA joined these groups in a letter outlining our concerns with the production
tax credit to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking
Member Ron Wyden (D-OR). Click
here to read the letter.
Meanwhile, PMAA also sent a letter to the Senate Finance and the House Ways and
Means Committees expressing concerns with how a biodiesel production tax credit
would impact the future availability of BioHeat®. Specifically, the letter
outlined PMAA’s concerns that it will raise costs for many small biodiesel
producers and distributors of biodiesel, as well as increase costs to users of
biodiesel for use in home heating. It is possible that such changes could
increase biodiesel purchase prices to homeowners by $.24 per gallon, or $200 per
here to view the letter and click
here to write your member of Congress to oppose the production tax
FEDERATED’S RISK MANAGEMENT CORNER
Take a Stand Against Distracted Driving
Imagine yourself standing alongside a busy road, watching the cars go by. Now
pretend you have super powers and can see everything going on in each car, and
you see this: A driver looks down at his phone to check GPS directions. At the
same time, traffic ahead slows. That driver’s quick glance at his phone is
enough of a distraction for him to not be prepared for the traffic slowdown. He
rear-ends the vehicle in front of him resulting in two deaths and serious
injuries to himself.
The driver wasn’t talking on his cell phone. He wasn’t texting. But he was
distracted by an electronic device.
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