• EMA Weekly Review

  • EMA Weekly Review

     
    Energy Marketers of America weekly update on important national industry news
    February 11, 2022  [WR-22-06]
     
    Sponsored by Renewable Energy Group
    who generously supports The Energy Marketers of America 
     

    Quick Links to Articles for February 11, 2022

     
    EMA Requests Speedier Federal Motor Fuel Excise Tax Claim Processing

    Biden Administration Releases New National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program

    Congressional Update

    EMA’s Washington Conference and Day on the Hill 2022 Hotel Reservations and Registration Now Open!

    FEMA Risk Assessment Tool for Your Use

    Legislation Would Temporarily Suspend the Gas Tax

    Governors’ Races May Impact Energy Policy, Here’s How

    NORA Names Michael Devine Incoming President

    Petroleum Marketers Risk Management Academy Offered by Federated Insurance

    EMA Member Services Spotlight Featuring: National Purchasing Partners (NPP) 

     
    Articles for February 11, 2022
     
    EMA Requests Speedier Federal Motor Fuel Excise Tax Claim Processing

    EMA is receiving reports from energy marketers that they are once again experiencing delays in the processing of federal motor fuel excise tax (FET) ultimate vendor claims for sales of clear, tax excluded diesel fuel to state and local governments. In response, EMA sent a letter this week to IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig expressing concern over the delays and asking for a return to timely processing as soon as possible. EMA emphasized that many small business petroleum marketer operations could be disrupted if the delays are not resolved quickly. Click here to read the letter. 

    The processing delays are almost entirely claims filed on paper forms. Paper claims must be processed by hand, a time-consuming process made lengthier by COVID related labor shortages at the IRS. The IRS is urging energy marketers to avoid processing delays by filing 8849 claims electronically. Electronic filing must be done through an IRS certified e-file provider. These e-file providers are private vendors who charge a small processing fee to file 8849 claims. Additional information about e-filing 8849 claims can be found at the IRS 8849 Claim website.

    Biden Administration Releases New National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program

    Today, the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation – a coordinated body of Department of Energy and Department of Transportation officials designated to coordinate EV charging -- announced plans to implement the $5 billion for National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that signed into law in 2021. The funding will be distributed to states on a formulaic basis and can be used to create EV charging station networks along Alternative Fuel Corridors. States will have until August 1 to submit plans for how they will use the funding, with the Federal Highway Administration and Joint Office of Energy and Transportation planning to approve state plans by September 30. 

    This $5 billion is part of $7.5 authorized for EV charging infrastructure. The additional $2.5 billion will be in the form of two competitive grants for which entities can apply:

    • The $1.25 billion Corridor Charging Grant Program will deploy EV charging infrastructure, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along Alternative Fuel Corridors. 

    • The $1.25 billion Community Charging Grant Program will deploy EV charging infrastructure, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure to communities. 

    The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation will announce details on this funding later this year. The Joint Office’s announcement Thursday comes after a public comment period where stakeholders agreed that chargers should be high-powered and located in safe areas, such as highway exists and stores with restrooms. Guidance issued by the Joint Office recommends that chargers be “ideally within a mile of the highway” in order to create a network that is “convenient, reliable, affordable and equitable.” Of concern to EMA is that states risk missing out on this funding if they do not submit detailed plans to the Joint Office. The guidance says that that if a state does not submit a plan by August 1, the Joint Office will award funds directly to local governments or to other states.

    CLICK HERE to read DOT’s press release.

    CLICK HERE to read DOT’s published Program Guidance. 

    CLICK HERE to read DOT’s Request for Nominations for states to expand their existing Alternative Fuel Corridors.

    CLICK HERE for a breakdown of funding each state is eligible for in FY22 and throughout the five-year life of the program.

    EMA recently submitted comments to the Biden Administration after seeking input from EMA’s Motor Fuels Committee and Alternative Energy Task Force regarding its NEVI infrastructure related questions, specifically on how the programs should be administered, including criteria for locating EV infrastructure projects. 

    EMA urged the Biden Administration to establish safeguards to ensure small business marketers can access vital federal funds to advance alternative energy goals. Specifically, EMA urged FHWA to ensure that 50 percent of the grant program funding be dedicated to small, independent fuel marketing businesses with less than 500 employees who can diversify and ensure consumers pay a competitive price for EV charging. EMA stressed to FHWA that it makes more sense to locate new EV charging equipment at existing off-highway fuel retailer sites. These sites are ubiquitous, familiar to consumers and conveniently located at highway entrances and exits nationwide. New EV charging sites are likely to be located further from highway exits and entrance ramps than consumers are ordinarily willing to travel. The convenience of an EV charging station, already situated at highway entrance and exit ramps, along with the availability of restrooms, food, and drink, will prove far more desirable to travelers than EV charging stations located further down the road from the exit, without facilities or refreshments. 

    Finally, EMA reiterated its concerns that the National Electric Vehicle Formula Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program could permit electric utilities to double dip – meaning they could charge their rate paying consumers to pay to expand EV infrastructure, while also taking grant money to subsidize the same projects. An electric utility monopoly using ratepayers to install EV infrastructure hurts consumers by effectively blocking out competition. Competition will ensure consumers pay a competitive price for EV charging and are ultimately serviced by the companies that provide the best customer experience. In other words, utilities and non-utilities, including private businesses, should be on a level playing field when it comes to building out EV charging infrastructure.

    Congressional Update

    Congress is expected to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) extending government funding through March 11. Meanwhile, it appears both sides have reached a baseline agreement to finalize a full government funding package so that many of the programs authorized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can be fully funded. As of now, government funding expires on February 18. In additional, Congress is also focused on merging differences between House and Senate-passed bills to compete with China by supporting US research and development. 

    Given these priorities, along with an upcoming Supreme Court vacancy, the Build Back Better Act (BBB) remains stalled. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) reiterated his concerns over additional government spending after this week’s inflation data was released. However, he outlined markers for a package he could support, which would include higher individual, corporate, and capital gains tax rates and would focus on energy innovation – not elimination. Still, these markers do not indicate that any agreement is close as moderate Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) opposes tax rate increases. Further, Senator Ben Ray Lujan continues to recover from a recent stroke, eliminating Senate Democrats 50 vote majority for the time being, and further complicating the legislative timeline for the next few weeks. 

    Despite the impasse in Congress, the White House continues engaging stakeholders to boost support for different provisions of BBB. This week, President Biden met with heads of the nation’s largest electric utilities, including American Electric Power, Edison International, Duke Energy, Southern Company, Exelon, Ameren, and DTE to discuss BBB’s climate and clean energy provisions. This follows President Biden’s meeting with leaders of Microsoft, General Motors, and Ford last month regarding BBB’s healthcare provisions. 

    EMA’s Washington Conference and Day on the Hill 2022 Hotel Reservations and Registration Now Open!
    May 17-19 – Please note date change!

    EMA’s annual Washington Conference and Day on the Hill will be held in our Washington, DC from May 17-19 at The Mayflower Hotel. Our industry continues to have dozens of important legislative and regulatory issues to discuss and the Day on the Hill continues to be the primary focus of this conference. While there will be a different process for Hill visits, we are thrilled to be able to host this event after two years of distancing. 

    The meeting will begin with an Opening Session / Issues Briefing and Region meetings in the afternoon of May 17. Our welcome reception, including our fun and popular PAC silent auction fundraiser, concludes the day! On the morning of May 18, marketers will head to Capitol Hill for visits with their Congressional delegations after a buffet breakfast and issues briefing for those who were not able to attend the opening session. There will be a hospitality suite and luncheon on the Hill. On the evening of May 18, we will feature our 2022 EMA Chair Tommy Thompson along with honoring our other Past Chairs in attendance. Our conference will conclude after the EMA Board of Directors meet on May 19 following a buffet breakfast and committee meetings. 

    You can find all available details for the Washington Conference and Day on the Hill here. Please make your room reservations now to attend this important and productive forum to meet with your members of Congress and network with other marketers from across the country! See you in DC in the spring! 

    FEMA Risk Assessment Tool for Your Use

    FEMA has released an online searchable collection of risk assessment information for planners and emergency managers to improve mitigation strategies, strengthen planning exercises and expedite recovery. FEMA released the Hazus Loss Library, the first online collection of Hazus-generated risk assessments to support users in all phases of emergency management.

    Search the library to find Hazus products, which are downloadable in spatial formats, spreadsheets and reports. Products for flood, hurricane, earthquake and tsunami events across the country include:

    • Historic and scenario-based modeling

    • Economic losses

    • Building damage and social impacts from historic events

    • Planning scenarios

    The application is free for all users and easy to navigate. Visit the Hazus Loss Library to find risk information available for your community.

    Legislation Would Temporarily Suspend the Gas Tax

    On Wednesday, Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced legislation that would suspend the 18.3 cpg federal excise tax on gasoline and 0.1 cpg leaking underground trust fund (LUST) tax through the end of 2022. “The Gas Prices Relief Act,” S. 3609, could prove popular during an election year. 

    S. 3609 would also by requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to monitor the program in order to “ensure oil and gas companies pass along the savings at the pump to consumers” by encouraging the Secretary to take enforcement actions if such action does not occur.  They argue the bill will “maintain the integrity of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and the LUST Fund by requiring the Department of the Treasury to make general fund transfers to keep the Funds solvent.”

    The bill is unlikely to become law.

    Governors’ Races May Impact Energy Policy, Here’s How

    Races in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia and Florida will determine the future of emissions reduction pledges and will establish key administrators within their state energy offices and utility regulators. The governors will influence how to use the funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes money for electric vehicle programs, power lines, public transit, and highways.

    To read the entire article, go to How governors races may change clean energy - Energy News Network. 

    NORA Names Michael Devine Incoming President

    On February 3, the National Oilheat Research Alliance(NORA) announced the appointment of Michael Devine as incoming President following the retirement of current President John Huber effective March 1, 2022. 

    Devine comes to NORA after having served as Vice President of Sales & Business Development for World Energy. Prior to his time at World Energy, he was the CEO and founder of Earth Energy Alliance where he assisted the petroleum distribution industry in reducing the carbon footprint of their fuel by increasing the use of renewable liquid fuels.

    Devine succeeds NORA’s founding President John Huber, who is retiring after a 22-year career with NORA. John will continue in his current role as President through early 2022 and will continue to provide support for Michael to ensure a successful transition period.

    NORA was authorized by Congress in 2000 to generate funding for the Oilheating industry to provide more efficient and more reliable heat and hot water to American consumers. NORA’s efforts focus on Consumer Education, Professional Education, Energy Efficiency & Safety and Research. For more information on NORA’s activities go to NORAweb.org.

    You can read the full press release here.  

    Petroleum Marketers Risk Management Academy Offered by Federated Insurance

    Federated Insurance is offering complimentary risk management training for petroleum marketers on April 19-21, 2022. Through this valuable session, you will discover methods you can use immediately to help protect profits by reducing risk at your business.

    Companies that are the most successful at controlling losses and protecting profits have integrated risk management into their overall company culture. Many have designated a key person as their risk manager. This person is supported by your company’s top management and is both responsible and accountable for identifying loss exposures and implementing risk management solutions.

    This seminar’s objective is to help your risk manager learn the exposures specific to the petroleum industry, connect with peers from across the country and apply these best practices within your business.

    You can learn more by viewing a brief video about the Risk Management Academy. Toreserve your spot in the upcoming session or for more information, please contactdrm@fedins.com or call 800.533.0472 Extension 455.5958. Federated is a Partner in EMA’s Board of Directors Council.

    Learn.Connect.Apply

    At Federated Insurance, It’s Our Business to Protect Yours® 

    EMA Member Services Spotlight Featuring: National Purchasing Partners (NPP) 
    Uniform Service Discounts

    Energy Marketers of America members can enroll for free with NPP and save on UniFirst uniform and facility services. Please visit to enroll.

    NPP members save up to 60 percent OFF rental and leasing rates, plus discounted personalization and setup costs.

    Sign up your business with NPP and save on products and services you use every day, like office supplies, technology, travel, and even uniforms. NPP also has deals you can share with your employees.

    NPP membership is free and there is no obligation to purchase. Restrictions may apply.