• PMAA Weekly Review

  • PMAA Weekly Review

       
     
    June 19, 2020 [WR-20-25]
    Sponsored by PDI Software
    who generously supports PMAA’s work in our Nation’s Capital
     

    Quick Links to Articles for June 19, 2020

     
    PMAA Compliance Bulletin: 2020-2021 Federal Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Filing Period Begins July 1 

    Federal Reserve Makes $600 Billion in Emergency Loans Available for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

    Small Business Administration Issues More User-Friendly PPP Loan Full Forgiveness Application

    U.S. Small Business Administration Reopens EIDL Emergency Loans and EIDL Advance Grant Program

    House Transportation Committee Holds Markup of Surface Transportation Bill

    Small Refineries Employ Strategy to Obtain New RFS Hardship Exemptions

    PMAA Joins SBLC in Support of JOBS Credit Act

    BP Review of World Energy Released

    Senate Holds Hearing on COVID-19’s Impact on the Energy Sector

    Federated Insurance: Risk Management Corner

    Make your Plans Now to Join PMAA and NACS in Las Vegas October 11-14, 2020

    PMAA Corporate Gold Partner Spotlight Featuring: Sound Payments Petro Solutions

     
    Articles for June 19,  2020
     
    PMAA Compliance Bulletin: 2020-2021 Federal Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Filing Period Begins July 1 

    The 2020 Heavy Highway Vehicle Use (HHVU) tax reporting period runs from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The HHVU tax is paid on each commercial motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 55,000 pounds or greater that travels 5,000 miles or more per year. The HHVU applies to most petroleum cargo tank vehicles and transports. Once the HHVU tax is filed and paid, the IRS will send back to filers a stamped IRS Form 2290 Schedule 1, proof of payment within 6 weeks.

    What’s New with 2290 Filings:

    IMPORTANT! The IRS has suspended debit card and credit card payment methods for the HHVU tax until January 1, 2021. Until that time, only electronic payment via Electronic Federal Taxpaying System (EFTPS), electronic funds withdrawals, checks or money orders may be used to pay the tax. The IRS provided no reason for the temporary suspension. However, the agency is cautioning taxpayers that the newly revised IRS Form 2029 (Rev. July 2020) for the 2020-2021 filing period continues to include the credit card/debit card payment option on line 6. Do not check this box until credit card and debit card payments resume on January 1, 2021. Another form of payment must be used.

    IMPORTANT! Use IRS Form 2290 (Rev. July 2020) for the 2020-2021 filing period. Any amount due from the 2019-2020 filing period must be filed on the previous Form 2029 (Rev. July 2019)

    Click here to read the full PMAA Compliance Bulletin.

    Federal Reserve Makes $600 Billion in Emergency Loans Available for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

    The U.S. Federal Reserve launched its Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) this week. The MSLP program is designed to provide a total of $600 billion in credit to small and mid-sized businesses that were in "good financial standing" before the COVID-19 emergency but are now struggling due to stay-at-home and business closure orders. 

    Business borrowers must apply for MSLP loans through participating local banks. The Federal Reserve will purchase back 95% of loans from eligible lenders. Loans are available until September 30, 2020. Eligible borrowers include businesses with 15,000 employees or fewer: or businesses with 2019 revenues of $5 billion or less. Eligible lenders include participating federally insured depository institutions including, banks, credit unions and savings and loans institutions. Borrowers have 5 years to repay a loan made under the MSLP program. Principal and interest payments on the loans will be deferred for up to two years, with 33% payments due in each of the years following that for new loans. Borrowing limits on secured or unsecured loans start at a minimum of $250,000 up to a maximum of $50 million. The interest rate on the loan is LIBOR plus 3%. 

    Unlike the federal PPP and EIDL Advance emergency loans, MSLP loans must be paid back in full.Click here for additional information on the MSLP loan program and click here for MSLP frequently asked questions. 

    Small Business Administration Issues More User-Friendly PPP Loan Full Forgiveness Application

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application. The new forgiveness form was part of the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law June 5, 2020 and is designed to increase processing efficiency to make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan. 

    Click here for the full PMAA Today report.

    U.S. Small Business Administration Reopens EIDL Emergency Loans and EIDL Advance Grant Program

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) this week announced the reopening of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the EIDL Advance program. The SBA’s existing EIDL emergency loan program was funded with an additional $20 billion to provide emergency relief and to ensure that EIDL loans available to small businesses experiencing economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The EIDL program came to an abrupt halt in early May due to the inability of the SBA to process the millions of applications that came flooding in from applicants seeking emergency relief. The reopening means that small business petroleum marketers and heating fuel dealers have another opportunity to seek long term, low interest disaster loans and emergency grants from the SBA. Additionally, EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of economic emergency relief to small businesses as a nonrepayable grant. The SBA said it has improved the application and loan closing process to make it easier and faster for applicants to receive funding.

    Click here for the full PMAA Today report.

    House Transportation Committee Holds Markup of Surface Transportation Bill
    Trump Administration Considering Its Own Plan

    This week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a markup to consider numerous amendments to H.R. 2, the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST) Act, that was introduced by Democrats two weeks ago. The bill would direct the Secretary of Transportation to delay the new FMCSA hours-of-service rule for commercial drivers until a comprehensive review of its waivers, exemptions and related guidelines is finalized. There were several amendments considered at the markup that are significant to fuel marketers. 

    First, Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) introduced an amendment to the bill that would lift the longtime ban on the commercialization of Interstate rest areas by allowing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to be built at them. Unfortunately, the amendment was ultimately included in Committee Chairman Pete DeFazio’s (D-OR) manager’s amendment that passed by a vote of 36-20. PMAA, along with NATSO, SIGMA and NACS, has been fighting attempts to lift the ban on the commercialization of rest areas because the ban has been essential in protecting the significant investments fuel marketers have made in communities and real estate directly off the U.S. Interstate System. 

    Secondly, PMAA opposed Section 1303 of the bill that would create an alternative fuel corridor grant program, specifically providing $350 million per year for grants for EV charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. PMAA is concerned that the grant program could allow the government to own and operate EV charging stations and compete with private businesses as well as 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 amendment offered by Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX) was approved which allows natural gas and propane projects to receive grants under the alternative fuel corridor grants program in the bill. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) introduced an amendment that would have scrapped the grant program; however, the amendment failed by a vote of 23-40. 

    Additionally, Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL) introduced an amendment that would more than double the current minimum insurance requirement for commercial motor vehicles from $750,000 to $2 million. The amendment was heavily criticized by many Republicans at the markup. Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) called Rep. Garcia’s amendment “nothing more than a handout to the trial attorneys.” Rep. Garrett Graves (R-LA) expressed his opposition to the amendment, saying that raising the minimum insurance requirement on truckers would inevitably drive up the cost of shipping goods across the country leading to higher food prices, which will “have a disproportionate impact on the poor.” Rep. Garcia’s amendment ultimately passed by a vote of 37-27. 

    Although the bill was completely partisan, some GOP amendments were adopted including Rep. Stauber’s (R-MN) amendment directing the Secretary of Commerce to certify that EV charging stations are free of minerals that are mined using child labor. House Transportation Committee Chairman DeFazio opposed the amendment, arguing it was an attempt to target charging infrastructure, but it was approved 43-19. 

    Prior to the markup, PMAA sent a letter highlighting its concerns with certain provisions and amendments to the INVEST Act especially the rest area commercialization language. PMAA also highlighted its concerns that the grant program 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 and expanding paved areas. PMAA urged the Committee to ensure that 50 percent of the grant program funding be dedicated to small, independent fuel marketing businesses who can diversify and bring necessary competition to the market. Click here to view the letter.

    Now that the bill has been marked up, it now heads to the House floor for a vote that is expected to take place in early July. While the Democratic-controlled House is expected to approve the bill, 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. The 24.4 cents-per-gallon diesel tax and 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax have remained unchanged since 1993. 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. 

    Finally, reports have indicated that the Trump Administration has been drafting its own infrastructure plan in hopes that a package could kickstart the economy that has been hit hard by the coronavirus health pandemic. A preliminary plan being prepared by the Department of Transportation (DOT) would provide nearly $1 trillion in funding, the majority of which would be spent on roads and bridges.

    Small Refineries Employ Strategy to Obtain New RFS Hardship Exemptions

    The EPA announced it has received 52 petitions from small refiners requesting economic hardship exemptions from compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The petitions request retroactive exemptions back to 2013 and earlier. Typically, small refinery exemption petitions are filed annually when the EPA sets new RFS blending mandates for the upcoming year. The retroactive filings are meant to bypass a recent federal court order limiting new hardship exemptions to only those small refineries that have been exempted from the RFS every year since 2013. Only a handful of the 52 small refineries currently filing petitions would qualify for hardship exemptions under the new standard set by the court. 

    Many small refiners disagreed with the court’s decision because exemptions were not necessary in the early years of the RFS when volumetric blending mandates were lower and blending RIN credits were cheap. If the EPA approves the retroactive petitions, the total ethanol gallons lost to hardship exemptions will continue to increase from the 2.63 billion gallons already displaced since 2016. Economic hardship exemptions are particularly important to small refiners right now due to the dramatic drop in demand for gasoline brought on by the COVID-19 emergency. The EPA has yet to act on the petitions and has given no indication when the exemption review process might begin. Click here for the Reuters story. 

    PMAA Joins SBLC in Support of JOBS Credit Act

    This week, PMAA joined other members of the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) in aletter supporting the Jumpstarting Our Businesses’ Success Credit (JOBS Credit) Act of 2020 (H.R. 6776) which would improve the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) provision included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Section 2301).

    The JOBS Credit Act would expand the credit percentage from 50 to 80 percent of qualified wages; increase the per-employee limitation from $10,000 for all calendar quarters to $15,000 per calendar quarter (and an aggregate of $45,000 for all calendar quarters); change the threshold for treatment as a large employer from employers having more than 100 employees to employers having more than 1,500 employees (based on the average number of full-time employees in 2019) or having gross receipts above $41.5 million in 2019; allow a phased-in credit, which would allow employers with more than a 20 percent decline in gross receipts to be eligible for a portion of the credit; and improve coordination between the ERTC and the Paycheck Protection Program so employers can be eligible for both programs, but with guardrails in place to prevent “double dipping.” 

    BP Review of World Energy Released

    On Wednesday, BP released its Statistical Review of World Energy. Growth in energy demand was declining before the pandemic, but far more so once the coronavirus pandemic spread globally, sending prices to record lows. Growth slowed to almost half the rate of 2018, with primary energy consumption slowed to 1.3% in 2019. Click here to read the Bloomberg report. 

    Senate Holds Hearing on COVID-19’s Impact on the Energy Sector

    On Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing titled: “Impacts of COVID-19 on the Energy Industry,” the purpose of which was to examine the damaging effects the health pandemic has had on the energy sector. Witnesses at the hearing included: Mr. Stephen Nalley (Deputy Administrator, U.S. Energy Information Administration); Mr. David Turk (Acting Deputy Executive Director, International Energy Agency); Ms. Lisa Jacobson (President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy); Mr. Frank J. Macchiarola (Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs, American Petroleum Institute) and Ms. Jackie Roberts (President, National Association of State Utility Advocates).

    Frank Macchiarola with API spoke about the challenges the oil industry has faced during the health pandemic, saying, “While the recent lifting of stay-at-home policies designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus has resulted in increased petroleum demand and a stabilization in the markets, difficulties persist. In particular, uncertainty remains as to the speed and scope of the recovery in transportation and thus the outlook for jet fuel and gasoline demand. We remain confident that economic recovery and oil demand are inextricably linked, and we see signs of recovery and demand increases continuing into the second half of 2020.” He continued, saying, ”Our industry remains resilient in the face of these challenges and we are committed to providing the affordable, reliable and cleaner energy that people need to sustain everyday life, enhance standards of living and increase prosperity around the world.”

    Meanwhile, Jackie Roberts, president of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, told members that more Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is needed to pay consumer heating and cooling bills because of the Coronavirus pandemic. This would be in addition to the $900 million in new funding for the LIHEAP that passed as part of the CARES Act in March. Mr. Roberts reported that assistance is needed for customers who typically make too much money to qualify for LIHEAP but are now out of work. Provisions in the “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act,” include an additional $1.5 billion in funding for LIHEAP. PMAA is a member of the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) that is urging Congress to pass additional funds for LIHEAP to help the millions more households that will be affected by COVID-19. 

    Federated Insurance: Risk Management Corner
    Risk Manager Responsibilities

    As a business owner, you have probably noticed that anticipating risk and preventing accidents has a positive impact on your daily operations, your employees’ morale, and your bottom line. You have also probably noticed that the job is bigger than it first appears. To make sure the job is done — and done right — many business owners delegate the responsibility to a risk manager. What the risk manager’s role looks like varies. Some businesses choose to add the responsibilities to an existing employee or manager’s duties, while others create a new role that focuses solely on risk management. 

    A risk manager’s job should include some basic characteristics which you will find here. For additional information or to discuss further, 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.

    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. 

    Make your Plans Now to Join PMAA and NACS in Las Vegas October 11-14, 2020
    Early Bird Deadline is June 24

    Alongside our industry and partners, the 2020 NACS Show is moving forward as scheduled October 11-14 in Las Vegas, with extra enhancements to ensure the well-being of attendees and exhibitors, while still striving to deliver the same high-quality networking, access to never-before-seen products and thought leadership that will inspire your business’ next moves.

    A show favorite, the Cool New Products Preview Room lets you discover the latest, hottest, cutting-edge products and ideas that are ready to redefine our industry. Divided into five expo floor categories for your convenience—Merchandise, Candy & Snacks; Technology; Facility Operations; Fuel Equipment & Services; and Foodservice—it is loaded with innovative products, services, merchandising strategies, and other growth opportunities. This is where customer, convenience, and cool are available and ready to become part of your store. Here, you can get your custom expo “shopping list” early complete with product details and exhibitor contact information. For more information, explore this year’s NACS Show.

    Registration is now open, and we hope you will plan to join us. NACS is offering you and your team the best possible price on registration and official NACS Show housing, now through June 24. (We have also extended our cancellation policy to 30 days pre-event to offer you maximum flexibility.)

    PMAA’s Fall Meeting at the NACS Show will be held on October 10-11 at The Mirage. You can find all available details here. PMAA Fall Meeting Registration will officially open July 1. Please note that the NACS Show registration is separate from the PMAA Meeting Registration.

    PMAA Corporate Gold Partner Spotlight Featuring: Sound Payments Petro Solutions
    Video Showing Semi-integrated, Retrofit Solution to Enable EMV

    Sound Payments shares a demonstration of EMV Easy Pump as part of its supporting businesses video series. Our platform is a cost-effective, semi-integrated retrofit solution to enable EMV at the pump. Traditional industry certifications for EMV take about six or more months to complete, which is why having multiple certification requirements is not ideal. With a semi-integrated solution, there is a single certification because the device goes directly to the payment processor.

    For more information, please visitSound Payments is a PMAA Corporate Gold Partner.