• PMAA Weekly Review

  • PMAA Weekly Review

         
     
    June 5, 2020 [WR-20-23]
    Sponsored by Meridian Associates, Inc.
    who generously supports PMAA’s work in our Nation’s Capital
     

    Quick Links to Articles for June 5, 2020

     
    Short-Haul Driver Hours of Service Amendments Effective September 29, 2020

    House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Releases Highway Reauthorization Bill 

    President Expected to Sign Paycheck Protection Program Modification Bill

    API Publishes New Recommended Practice 1637

    CDC Issues New Recommendations for Employers Reopening Offices 

    Trump Issues Executive Order to Speed up Infrastructure Projects

    Reminder: Urge Congress to Provide Liability Protection to Essential Critical Infrastructure Industries

    DNC Climate Panel Pressures Biden to Back Aggressive Climate Plan

    PMAA’s Fall Meeting at the NACS Show 2020 Hotel Reservations Open!

    May 2020 PMAA Small Business Committee (SBC) PAC Contributions

    Federated Insurance Response to Coronavirus 

    PMAA MDF Contributors for May 2020

    Federated Insurance Employment Practice Network Webinar

    PMAA Corporate Platinum Partner Spotlight Featuring: Renewable Energy Group, Inc.

    Promote Your Products or Services in PMAA’s Online Buyer’s Guide

     
    Articles for June 5,  2020
     
    Short-Haul Driver Hours of Service Amendments Effective September 29, 2020

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the final rule amending the CDL driver of hours of service (HOS) requirements on June 3rd. Publication of the final rule in the Federal Register sets the 120 day countdown to the effective date of the changes when petroleum marketers and heating fuel dealers with short haul drivers gain two additional hours of daily on-duty time. In addition, the rule lengthens the distance that short haul drivers can travel, from a 100 air-mile radius to 150 air-mile radius. 

    Both these originated amendments are effective September 29, 2020. Another amendment extending maximum daily 11 hour driving window by two hours during adverse weather conditions is also effective September 29, 2020. These amendments allow drivers who did not previously qualify for short-haul status, but stay within the new 150 air-mile limit, to discontinue the use of electronic devices to record driver HOS. Short-haul drivers are exempted from the requirement to record driver HOS. Instead, HOS for short haul drivers can be demonstrated by business records, primarily driver timecards or pay records. 

    PMAA sought these important HOS changes which can be found in a PMAA Today bulletin by clicking here.

    House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Releases Highway Reauthorization Bill 

    This week, Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee released a five-year, $494 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill known as the “Invest in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America” Act (Invest Act). 

    Quick highlights of the bill important to fuel marketers include:

    • Electric Vehicle Charging and Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Grants: Creates a $1.4 billion grant program for states and localities to deploy electric vehicle, hydrogen and natural gas vehicle charging stations along alternative fuel corridors designated by the Federal Highway Administration. PMAA has several concerns with this provision. The language could allow for EV charging stations at rest areas and permit electric utilities to double dip, meaning that they could charge their rate paying customers to expand EV infrastructure while also taking grant money to subsidize the same project. PMAA is also concerned that the bill does not provide for the equitable distribution of funds or account for other investment required for infrastructure changes that may be needed to accommodate EV and alternative fueling equipment such as upgrades to site utilities, adding land, and expanding paved areas and operating costs. In addition, the focus on alternative fuel corridors will result in a preference for grants to companies that have multiple sites distributed along major transportation routes. As with other grants for alternative fuels, small to medium c-stores will be placed at a competitive disadvantage. 

    • Drivers Hours of Service – The bill seeks to delay the effective date of the recent driver hours of service rule (HOS) that includes short haul exception amendments won by PMAA. The bill would require delay of the rule until FMCSA conducts a comprehensive review of hours of service regulations and report its findings to Congress. The bill would require the review to focus on the impact on safety and driver health from waivers and exceptions that extend maximum daily driving time and on- duty time, as well exemptions from recording daily HOS on electronic recording devices. This section would not only delay the HOS rule, but could also lead to the elimination of short haul exception, as well as the exception for short haul drivers from recording daily hours of service on electronic recording devices.

    • Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Pilot: Nearly doubles funding for (VMT) pilots across the country, encouraging States to begin implementing successful VMT programs. It also establishes a national VMT pilot program, including both passenger and commercial vehicles in all 50 states to invest in developing a sustainable funding mechanism for the highway trust fund (HFT). A VMT is a user fee based on miles traveled that can possibly be tracked by phone apps, in-car diagnostic systems or by other means.

    • Commercial Motor Vehicles: Mandates Automatic Emergency Braking systems in newly manufactured commercial motor vehicles and mandates rear underride guard standards in newly manufactured trailers and semi-trailers capable of preventing passenger compartment underride at speeds up to 35 mph. The bill would require periodic inspection of rear underride equipment as well as daily pre-trip inspections by drivers. It also calls for a study on installing side underride guards on newly manufactured trailers and semitrailers and creates an Advisory Committee on Underride Protection.

    • Hazardous Material Transportation: Requires PHMSA to study and report to Congress the safety impact of the current requirement for all commercial vehicles hauling hazardous materials stop at railroad crossings; the frequency of rear impact to HAZMAT vehicles as a result of the requirement; and whether the requirement should be removed altogether. 

    • Delays the implementation of new highway and transit policies until after the first year of the bill to reflect the challenges states and localities face due to COVID-19 and the economic downturn.

    While the Democratic-controlled House is expected to approve the bill next month, it is dead on arrival in the Senate. The bill currently lacks a “pay for” meaning it is unlikely that a potential multiyear surface transportation bill is signed into law this year. 

    Congress is more than likely to pass a short-term reauthorization of surface transportation programs into next year since current law is set to expire on September 30, 2020. 

    President Expected to Sign Paycheck Protection Program Modification Bill

    The President is expected to sign the “Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act of 2020” (H.R. 7010) as soon as today. Highlights include: 

    • Extends the PPP loan forgiveness period from eight weeks to 24 weeks or through the end of the year, whichever comes first.

    • Reduces the 75 percent threshold needed to be spent on payroll to 60 percent which allows a greater percentage of the PPP loans to be used on rent and other approved non-payroll expenses.

    • Increases the PPP loan repayment period from two year to five years.

    • Allows businesses that receive loan forgiveness to defer payroll taxes.

    • Extends the June 30 rehiring deadline to December 31, 2020. PPP loans will be forgiven if businesses restore staffing or salary levels that were previously reduced. The provision would apply to worker and wage reductions made from February 15 through 30 days after enactment of the CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27.

    • Provides additional flexibility on loan forgiveness for PPP recipients who show they could not rehire workers or reopen due to safety standards.

    During Senate consideration, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) objected to the bill over concerns that the PPP application deadline could technically be extended until the end of the year. Sen. Johnson dropped his objections after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agreed to add a letter to the Congressional Record clarifying that June 30 remains the deadline for applying to receive a PPP loan.

    Click here for more information about the PPP.

    API Publishes New Recommended Practice 1637

    The American Petroleum institute (API) recently published the 4th edition of the API Recommended Practice (RP) 1637 Using the API Color-Symbol System to Identify Equipment, Vehicles, and Transfer Points for Petroleum Fuels and Related Products at Dispensing and Storage Facilities and Distribution Terminals. The API Color-Symbol system uses a system of colors, symbols, and labels to identify transfer points and equipment for loading and unloading of petroleum fuels and related products to help prevent errors in product handling. API 1637 is specified by Handbook 130 and many state weights and measures codes as the color code system to be used. 

    The 4th edition of API 1637 is a significant update from the prior version. It incorporates the many fuel blends and biofuels that have been introduced to the market since the last version of this standard was published. This updated practice adds colors and symbols for 19 additional fuels including gasoline-ethanol blends, racing fuels, biodiesel, renewable diesel, biofuel oil, and Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). Personnel who handle products should be familiar with this updated color-symbol system. 

    RP 1637 can be purchased from the API Publications Store.

    CDC Issues New Recommendations for Employers Reopening Offices 

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published sweeping new recommendations for employers to safely reopen offices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please click here for the details.

    Trump Issues Executive Order to Speed up Infrastructure Projects

    Yesterday, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) instructing the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, and Defense to use emergency powers under the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to speed up infrastructure projects through the approval process on federal lands as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. The latest EO is likely to draw many lawsuits from environmental groups if projects are given the greenlight to move forward without complying with the environmental review process required under these statutes. Several of the President’s previous EOs aimed at speeding pipeline approvals have been held up in court challenges because they attempt to override Congressionally mandated requirements. Clickhere for the story. 

    Meanwhile, the EPA finalized a new rule on Monday to significantly rein in states’ power to veto natural gas pipelines, coal export terminals and other infrastructure projects over their water quality impact. The limit on state powers to veto natural gas pipelines is of particular concern to heating fuel dealers throughout the Northeast. Click here to read the story.

    Reminder: Urge Congress to Provide Liability Protection to Essential Critical Infrastructure Industries

    PMAA is urging Congress to protect essential businesses that remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic from lawsuits and other claims by infected persons. The liability protection effort would provide essential businesses, designated as essential critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security, with immunity from lawsuits claiming money damages for persons who allegedly contracted COVID-19 at a business premises or as a result of business operations. 

    The motor fuels, heating fuels and convenience store industries are at the forefront of COVID-19 response efforts and should not have to worry about future lawsuits for providing needed products and services to American consumers. 

    Please click here to urge your lawmakers for liability protection in a future COVID-19 response bill. 

    DNC Climate Panel Pressures Biden to Back Aggressive Climate Plan

    This week, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Climate Council offered presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden an aggressive climate plan that they would like Biden to adopt, which goes much further than his own climate plan. The 12 person DNC Climate Council was created last year by the DNC to form progressive climate policies in response to not having a democratic primary debate on climate change.

    The panel recommends that Biden spend between $10 trillion and $16 trillion dollars in federal funding over the next 10 years to combat climate change, whereas Biden’s current plan only calls for up to $2 trillion in federal spending on climate issues. The proposal also calls for denying new federal permits for fossil fuel infrastructure projects like pipelines, 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030 in electricity generation, buildings, and transportation, and eliminating gas-fired heat and other fossil fuels in new buildings by 2025. Finally, the plan calls for ending fossil fuel and other resource development on 30 percent of public lands by 2030 and half of the world’s oceans by 2050. In contrast, Biden’s current plan calls for achieving net-zero emissions and reaching a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050 and cutting in half the carbon footprints of buildings by 2035.

    Although it is unknown if Biden will adopt some of the council’s policies, many democratic experts fear that this aggressive climate plan would alienate the moderate voters of the party in battleground states that Biden will need to beat President Trump in November. Even if Biden decides to adopt some of these policies, it will still be difficult to implement them as most of these issues will require Congress’s approval. 

    PMAA’s Fall Meeting at the NACS Show 2020 Hotel Reservations Open!

    PMAA will hold its Fall Meeting in conjunction with the NACS Show on October 10-11 at The Mirage Las Vegas. The PMAA meeting will begin with a New Attendee Orientation mid-afternoon on October 10 followed by the Federal Legislative Update. NACS/PMAA Reception Salute to State Association Executives and PMAA Chair Aaron Littlefield (All PMAA members are welcome) will follow at Portofino in The Mirage. On the morning of October 11, there will be a Buffet Breakfast followed by Region and Committee Meetings. The PMAA Board of Directors meeting is scheduled after the Distinguished Service Award Luncheon sponsored by PMAA Corporate Platinum Partner Federated Insurance. 

    You can find all available information, including how to make your hotel reservations and the Conference Schedule, here. PMAA Fall Meeting Registration will open in early July. Please note that the NACS Show registration is now open and is separate from the PMAA Meeting Registration.

    May 2020 PMAA Small Business Committee (SBC) PAC Contributions

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

    Connecticut: David Foster
    Kansas: Patrick Lingg 

    Federated Insurance Response to Coronavirus 

    Federated Insurance is committed to helping you as our nation unites to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here is a link to many valuable resources designed to inform and support your members during these uncertain times. Because this page is not available on our public site, you may want to save it in your browser for future reference as it will be updated regularly when additional resources become available.

    Federated’s valued policyholders have these and additional resources available to them atFederated’s Shield Network or by contacting our Risk Management Resource Center at 1-888-333-4949. For additional information or to discuss this in further detail, please contact yourFederated regional representative or PMAA’s National Account Executive Jon Medo at 800.533.0472. Federated is a PMAA 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. 

    PMAA MDF Contributors for May 2020

    PMAA’s Marketer Defense Fund wants to thank the following individuals for their Marketer Defense Fund (MDF) contributions during the May 1- 31, 2020 timeframe:

    Connecticut: David Foster 
    Ohio: Jeffery Lykins
    Oregon: Sam Byrnes

    Corporate donations are acceptable. MDF funds have been used hire experts to cover important regulatory agencies and to create a COVID-19 Situational Update & Resources webpage to provide the latest updates and resources petroleum marketers during the pandemic. Click here to donate to the PMAA MDF. 

    Federated Insurance Employment Practice Network Webinar
    Cannabis in the Workplace: Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 12:00 p.m. CT

    This webinar will focus on the road from illegal to legal cannabis use and the challenges employers face in navigating state and federal laws in this fast-changing environment. We will provide specific examples, tips and resources which employers can use today, followed by a live question and answer period.

    Advanced registration is required for this 60-minute webinar. 

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

    PMAA Corporate Platinum Partner Spotlight Featuring: Renewable Energy Group, Inc.
    REG’s COVID-19 Response Continues

    At Renewable Energy Group (REG), our values include safety, integrity and humanity. We live those all year long, but never have they felt more important than during the unprecedented challenges the world is facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Keeping our employees, customers and communities safe is a top priority. We established a COVID-19 response team early in the pandemic. This group monitors the situation continuously so that we are making informed decisions and mitigating risks. 

    To read more about REG’s commitment to safety, supporting essential industries and minimizing customer impact during these times, please click here.

    For additional information about Renewable Energy Group, Inc., please visit or contact Steve KleinRenewable Energy Group is a PMAA Corporate Platinum Partner. 

    Promote Your Products or Services in PMAA’s Online Buyer’s Guide

    The Petroleum Marketers Association of America ("PMAA") exclusive PMAA Buyers’ Guide ((the "Guide") — the premier resource of relevant products and services for petroleum professionals — is available at the PMAA website.

    PMAA partners with Overland Park, Kansas-based Strategic Value Media, a leading nationwide provider of print and digital media solutions for national, state and local trade and membership associations. PMAA is proud to provide its members with this useful and easily accessible year-round resource.

    The 2020 version features updated and expanded company and product listings, in addition to other valuable information relating to the petroleum industry. The Guide provides PMAA members and other industry professionals with an efficient way to browse for goods and services and also offers petroleum suppliers and companies exceptional visibility by showcasing their products and services to a targeted, industry-specific buyer group.

    If your company or business has not yet taken advantage of this exceptional opportunity to highlight your products and services here, it is not too late! To learn more about advertising your products or services in this exclusive Guide, please email.