• EMA Weekly Review

  • EMA Weekly Review

     
    Energy Marketers of America weekly update on important national industry news
    November 6, 2020  [WR-20-45]
     
    Sponsored by Chevron
    who generously supports The Energy Marketers of America 
     

    Quick Links to Articles for November 6, 2020

     
    Prospects of a Coronavirus Relief Package During a Lame-Duck Congress

    EPA Approves New Standard for UST System Sump Repair

    Impact of Transportation-Related Environmental Initiatives

    DOL Issues Final Rule on ESG Investments

    October 2020 EMA Small Business Committee (SBC) PAC Contributions

    EMA Corporate Platinum Partner Spotlight Featuring: Reynolds American, Inc.

    October 2020 EMA MDF Contributors 

    Federated Insurance Risk Management Academy Webinar

    Check Out Energy Marketers of America Journal Anytime Online 

    Federated Insurance Employment Practices Network HR Question of the Month

     
    Articles for November 6, 2020
     
    Prospects of a Coronavirus Relief Package During a Lame-Duck Congress

    On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called on Congress to approve a coronavirus relief package before the end of the year. With the balance of the Senate and the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue uncertain as of November 5, Sen. McConnell’s statements present a shift from his recent suggestion that a measure was more likely early in the 117th Congress. 

    Prior to the election, negotiations over another coronavirus relief package were handled predominately between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Despite reported progress, negotiators failed to reach an agreement on the overall price tag of the next coronavirus relief package. The Trump Administration proposed a $1.8 trillion deal; Speaker Pelosi called for funding exceeding $2 trillion; and Senate Republicans expressed reluctance to support any package that exceeded $1 trillion. Liability protections remain a top priority for Senate Republicans; Speaker Pelosi insists robust state and local aid is paramount for Democratic support. 

    During a November 4 press conference, Leader McConnell said, “We need another rescue package. Hopefully the partisan passions that prevented us from doing another rescue package will subside with the election and I think we need to do it and I think we need to do it before the end of the year.” Passing relief legislation during the final weeks of the 116th Congress is not an easy task. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and senior Senate Appropriations Committee member, said he will “be surprised if we’re able to get a whole lot done in a lame duck session.”

    Meanwhile, President Trump is challenging the election in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Nevada. While the path to 270 electoral votes appears to favor Vice President Biden, it may be weeks until official results are certified. 

    This uncertainty could result in Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Speaker Pelosi serving as the primary negotiators. Unlike recent months, Congressional leaders may be more inclined to reach an agreement given the reduced Democratic House majority and a strong likelihood that Senate control may be delayed until two Senate runoff elections in Georgia occur on January 5. 

    In addition to a coronavirus relief measure, Congress must keep the government funded beyond the current December 11 continuing resolution deadline. Should Congress pass a coronavirus measure before January, an outstanding question is whether President Trump would sign the legislation into law.

    EPA Approves New Standard for UST System Sump Repair

    The National Leak Prevention Association-Ken Wilcox Associates, Inc. (NLPA/KWA) recently completed the development of a standard for the repair of UST system containment sumps. Under EPA UST regulations (40 CFR 280.33(a)), all UST system repairs must be conducted according to a code of practice developed by a nationally recognized association or an independent testing laboratory to ensure that repairs will prevent releases once the sump is returned to service. Without proper repairs, sumps may fail to prevent releases when piping or pumping equipment leaks. The EPA has authorized Standard 823 as compliant for the proper repair of UST system sumps.

    Specifically, NLPA/KWA Standard 823 establishes requirements for repairing sumps due to structural failure or corrosion by providing:

    • Minimum criteria for qualifying a containment sump for repair,

    • Testing and performance requirements for materials used to:

      • Seal containment sumps as a preventative maintenance or repair measure,

      • Install or replace a sump entry fitting, and

      • Fabricate a new single wall or double wall sump using the existing sump as a fabrication mold.

    • Minimum requirements for installer certification and training by the equipment or material manufacturer

    NLPA/KWA Standard 823 also provides post sump repair testing procedures for liquid tightness. EPA UST regulations require owners and operators using the standard to ensure that sump repairs follow all applicable steps in the standard, including post-repair testing for liquid tightness.

    UST system owners and operators should check with their state UST implementing agencies to determine whether state specific sump repair requirements vary from EPA's Standard 823 determination. Generally, most state UST authorities adopt EPA requirements without change. The contact information for every state and territorial UST authority can be found here.

    The EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) technical online compendium has been updated to reflect that this code of practice meets the regulatory requirements as an acceptable standard for containment sump repairs and more information about the standard can be found here

    In addition, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) is planning to host a webinar about this standard in December. Click here for more information. 

    Impact of Transportation-Related Environmental Initiatives

    The Fuel Institute released a new study recently that provides an overview and analysis of U.S. and global environmental initiatives to reduce emissions from the transportation sector. The Impact of Transportation-Related Environmental Initiatives report evaluates and compares the impact that different environmentally focused transportation-energy regulations, policies, and initiatives will have on emissions and costs to consumers over the next 20 years. 

    The report discusses existing initiatives such as the zero-emission vehicle mandate, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, the Renewable Fuel Standard, and federal and state electric vehicle subsidies as well as potential future initiatives such as the Cleaner Trucks Initiative and Transportation Climate Initiative. It includes an assessment of fourteen U.S. initiatives in the areas of emissions, fuel economy, and carbon pricing; alternative fuels, congestion pricing, tolls, and telecommuting; and mobility. 

    The report can be downloaded from the Fuel Institutes website by clicking here.

    DOL Issues Final Rule on ESG Investments

    On Monday, the Department of Labor issued a final rule regarding environmental, social, or governance (ESG) investments for retirement plans. Originally proposed in June, the final rule limits the ability of financial advisors managing private pension plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to make ESG-motivated investments, and only allows investments “based solely on financial considerations relevant to the risk-adjusted economic value of a particular investment or investment court of action.” The June proposed rule received more than 8,700 comments, the majority of which were negative. Large investment firms, such as BlackRock, Fidelity, and Vanguard, also reacted negatively to the rule. Investment firms have also argued this will prevent them from considering the effects of climate change when making investment decisions. 

    The rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register.

    October 2020 EMA Small Business Committee (SBC) PAC Contributions

    PAC Co-Chairs Brad Bell and Tim Keigher are grateful for the EMA Small Business Committee (SBC) PAC contributions from the following individuals during the October 1-31, 2020 time frame:

    Arizona: Amanda Gray
    Arkansas: Aaron Littlefield
    California: Michael Downs
    Connecticut: Chris Herb
    Florida: Maximo Alvarez
    Kentucky: Brian Clark
    Louisiana: Cody Gielen, Natalie Isaacks
    Michigan: Naser Propane
    Minnesota: Vern Kelley
    Mississippi: Philip Chamblee, James Lipscomb, Parker Lipscomb
    New Jersey: Robert Harriett, Raymond Tomasso, Peter Woodard, Norman Woolley
    New York: Kris DeLair
    North Carolina: Daniel Erwin
    Rhode Island: Roberta Fagan
    Tennessee: Tommy Hunt, Emily LeRoy, Mark McBride
    Utah: Rick Reese
    Vermont: Matt Cota
    Virginia: Sherri Stone
    Washington: Brad Bell
    Wisconsin: John Baltus, Jonathan Crawford, Matt Hauser, Craig Wolf

    EMA Corporate Platinum Partner Spotlight Featuring: Reynolds American, Inc.
    BAT Strengthens its US New Category Portfolio: Announces acquisition of Dryft Modern Oral business

    This week, British American Tobacco p.l.c. announced that the U.S. business of the BAT Group (BAT) has acquired the nicotine pouch product assets of Dryft Sciences, LLC (Dryft), a US-based Modern Oral nicotine product company.

    To read all about this exciting news, please click here for the press release. For additional information or to discuss this in further detail, please contact Matt Domingo at 336-741-1486 or visitRAI Trade Marketing Services Company is a EMA Corporate Platinum Partner.

    October 2020 EMA MDF Contributors 

    Energy Marketers of America Marketer Defense Fund wants to thank the following individuals for their contributions during the October 1- 31 timeframe:

    Arizona: Arizona Petroleum Marketers Association
    Arkansas: Aaron Littlefield III
    Colorado: Colorado Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association
    Mississippi: Philip Chamblee, Jim Lipscomb, Eric Prince
    Missouri: Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
    New Mexico: New Mexico Petroleum Marketers Association
    North Dakota: Matt Bjornson, North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association 
    Oklahoma: Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association
    Oregon: Oregon Fuels Association
    Tennessee: Tennessee Fuel & Convenience Store Association
    Virginia: Lewis Wall Jr.
    Washington: Washington Oil Marketers Association

    Corporate donations are acceptable. MDF funds have been used to create a COVID-19 Situational Update & Resources webpage, to hire experts to cover important regulatory agencies and disaster relief dedicated to strengthening our lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill. Click here to donate to the MDF.

    Federated Insurance Risk Management Academy Webinar
    Cost-Effective Solutions for Mid-Pandemic Workplace Controversies: Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 1:00 p.m. CT

    In this webinar, we will identify seven types of challenges and recurring problems that employers face today, and we will discuss cost-effective solutions your organization can implement to reduce risk while preparing for year-end and for 2021. We’ll offer practical tips and resources and will answer questions at the end of this webinar. 

    Advanced registration is required for this one-hour webinar.

    For additional information or to discuss this in further detail, please contact your Federatedregional representative or PMAA’s National Account Executive Jon Medo at 800.533.0472. Federated is a EMA Corporate Platinum Partner. 

    Check Out Energy Marketers of America Journal Anytime Online 

    You can now take Energy Marketers of America Journal with you wherever you go. Clickhere to view the Fall Issue (latest issue always online), optimized for any device. You can find our Annual Directory beginning on page 36. Scroll to select the articles that matter to you, then read, learn and share with the icons at the top of your screen. Looking for a past issue? Scroll through past covers on the left side of your browser or use our convenient search feature to find a particular topic. Miss flipping pages? Select "page view" from the menu bar or click the handy magazine icon for a classic page-turner.

    For information on advertising in this valuable format, please call 844.423.7272 or emailInnovative Publishing. Our Winter Issue advertising deadline is December 1. 

    Federated Insurance Employment Practices Network HR Question of the Month
    School is Open – Opt to Stay Home on FFCRA Leave?

    Federated Insurance’s HR Question of the Month focuses on employment-related practices liability issues. This month’s question is: Does an employee, who has opted to stay home with her school aged child, who chose to virtually learn, when the school is open, and the other 2 children are in school, still qualify for extended leave under the Emergency Families First Coronavirus Response Act? The Department of Labor recently addressed this very issue in an update of its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) online resource. Prior to this time there had been no direct guidance and employers were left with ambiguity. It is now quite clear. Please click here to read the response.

    For additional information or to discuss this in further detail, please contact your Federatedregional representative or PMAA’s National Account Executive Jon Medo at 800.533.0472. Federated is a EMA Corporate Platinum Partner. 

    This article is for general information and risk prevention only and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. The recommendations herein may help reduce, but are not guaranteed to eliminate, any or all risk of loss. The information herein may be subject to, and is not a substitute for, any laws or regulations that may apply. Qualified counsel should be sought with questions specific to your circumstances. © 2020 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.