• PMAA Weekly Review

  • PMAA Weekly Review

       
     
    June 26, 2020 [WR-20-26]
    Sponsored by Phillips 66
    who generously supports PMAA’s work in our Nation’s Capital
     
    Please note next week’s PMAA Weekly Review will go out Thursday, July 2nd. 

    Quick Links to Articles for June 26, 2020

    PMAA Regulatory Alert: PHMSA Extends Enforcement Discretion Policy for CDL Driver HAZMAT Training 

    PMAA Regulatory Report: FMCSA Extends Waiver for Expiring CDL Licenses, Learner’s Permits and Driver Medical Certificates 

    House Democrats Release Expanded Version of their Infrastructure Bill

    Breakdown of Another Possible COVID-19 Relief Package

    PMAA Urges Congress to Maintain NOL Tax Changes

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

    Free Webinar on Obtaining USDA Higher Blend Infrastructure Incentive Grants 

    New Study Provides Detailed Information on Local, State and Regional Electrification Conversion Programs Nationwide

    House Democrats Release Energy Tax Incentives Package

    Federated Insurance: It’s Your Life

    Enabling EMV at the Pump Webinar: Wednesday, July 8 at 2:00pm ET 

    PMAA Platinum Partner Spotlight Featuring: Meridian Associates, Inc.

    Check Out PMAA Journal Anytime Online

    PMAA Member Services Spotlight Featuring: Office Depot through National Purchasing Partners (NPP)

     
    Articles for June 26, 2020
     
    PMAA Regulatory Alert: PHMSA Extends Enforcement Discretion Policy for CDL Driver HAZMAT Training 

    The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced an extension of the agency’s March 24, 2020 enforcement discretion policy (waiver) regarding reoccurring hazardous material training and testing requirements for CDL drivers. While the waiver is in effect, PHMSA will take no enforcement action against any motor carrier or offeror who is unable to provide reoccurring hazardous material training and testing that all CDL HAZMAT drivers (and all HAZMAT employees) must undergo every three years. The original enforcement waiver expired on June 24, 2020. PHMSA’s announcement this week extends the waiver through October 31, 2020.

    Click here for the full PMAA Regulatory Report.

    PMAA Regulatory Report: FMCSA Extends Waiver for Expiring CDL Licenses, Learner’s Permits and Driver Medical Certificates 

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a three-month extension of the emergency waiver validating expiring commercial driver licenses (CDL), commercial learner’s permits (CLP), and driver medical qualification certificates that expires on June 30th. The new emergency waiver takes effect July 1 and ends on September 30, 2020. The waiver applies to both intrastate and interstate drivers. The FMCSA said the waiver extension is necessary due to the ongoing closures of state licensing agencies and certified medical examiners that prevent drivers from renewing their CDL, CLP and medical certificates. View the FMCSA waiver extension here.

    Important! The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an emergency waiver on April 2, 2020 extending expiring CDL hazardous material endorsements (HME) through July 31, 2020. PMAA is working with TSA to extend the HME waiver through September 30, 2020 as well.

    Click here to read the full PMAA Regulatory Report. 

    House Democrats Release Expanded Version of their Infrastructure Bill
    Floor Vote Expected Before July 3

    This week, House Democrats released a 2,309 page infrastructure bill known as “The Moving Forward Act” (H.R.2) totaling $1.5 trillion which includes the bill passed by the House Transportation Committee last week, and it adds sections on water and energy infrastructure, broadband, housing and schools, healthcare and aviation. Click here for a complete list of issues passed by House Transportation Committee last week that are of importance to fuel marketers.

    H.R. 2 pours tens of billions of dollars into modernizing the electric grid, investing in water projects, and extending a host of energy tax credits. Provisions important to fuel marketers include:

    • Expands the controversial $7,500 federal electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. The current $7,500 EV tax credit allows taxpayers to deduct part of the cost of buying an EV and phases out once an automaker hits 200,000 cumulative EV sales which both Tesla and GM have hit. H.R. 2 would expand the 200,000 cumulative EV sales to 600,000 and reduce the credit by $500 to $7,000. The bill would also create a new “used EV tax credit” through 2025 for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of $30,000, or $60,000 for joint filers of $1,250. 

    • Phases out the biodiesel blender’s tax credit (BBTC). Current law has the BBTC expiring on December 31, 2022. The bill would add an additional two years to the BBTC through December 31, 2025 but reduce the $1 per gallon credit each year. It would also extend credits for alternative fuels and alternative fuel mixtures at a rate of 50 cents per gallon through 2022, and subsequently phase them down through 2025.

    • Reauthorizes and expands two grant programs promoting electrification of the transportation sector by providing $2 billion per year through 2025 for competitive grants related to EV infrastructure. 

    • Extends and increases the authorization for the EPA’s diesel emission reduction program by providing $500 million per year through 2025. It would expand the EPA grant program to replace or retrofit school buses to be powered with alternative fuels or ULSD to allow for rebates and revolving loans. 

    • Authorizes $1 billion annually through 2025 for a Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program which would provide rebates of as much as $800 for insulation and air sealing and as much as $1,500 if the installation is accompanied with a total or partial replacement of the HVAC system. Rebates would be capped at 30 percent of the actual cost of each installation and replacement. The Energy Department could pay contractors an additional $250 for each eligible project in exchange for information sharing on the performance of the retrofit. H.R. 2 would make grants under the program for states to administer their own rebates for retrofits that reduce home energy use by at least 20 percent. Additional rebates would be allowed for retrofits achieving a 40 percent reduction. The bill would also authorize $350 million in fiscal 2021, increasing each year to $1 billion in fiscal 2025 for the Weatherization Assistance Program and would establish a new weatherization grant program to support retrofitting low-income housing.

    • Extends the credit for nonbusiness energy property placed in service by the end of 2025. It would make several changes for property placed in service starting in 2021, including: increasing the credit to 15 percent, from 10 percent, of energy efficiency improvement expenses, increasing the lifetime cap to $1,200, from $500.

    The House Rules Committee will meet next week to debate a rule that will structure floor debate and consider additional amendments for H.R. 2. Over 330 amendments have been submitted. Following the House Rules Committee meeting, H.R. 2 will head to the House floor where it is expected to pass along party lines and then die in the Senate. The bill currently lacks a full “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. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has marked up its own surface transportation bill, S. 2302, but it is unclear when the Senate will move forward with their version.

    Breakdown of Another Possible COVID-19 Relief Package

    There are many moving parts for the next COVID-19 Relief Package. The big sticking points of the next COVID-19 relief package: reasonable COVID-19 liability coverage, state and local government funding, direct payments to middle/low income households, and extension of the $600 weekly unemployment benefit. 

    COVID-19 Liability Coverage:
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has conditioned any further COVID-19 relief package must include reasonable liability protections. Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) is expected to introduce a bill soon that would provide safe harbor provisions for businesses that meet safety guidelines as well as making it easier to force lawsuits into federal courts, and imposing caps on the damages that can be awarded. PMAA has been reaching out to the House Blue Dog democrats and to the Senate to encourage them to support reasonable COVID-19 liability protection.

    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.

    State and Local Funding:
    State and local governments received around $150 billion through the CARES Act to pay for unbudgeted expenses tied to COVID-19. There is a big push from state and local governments for hundreds of billions more, along with the ability to make up for lost revenue. Many differences over the size of the package, restrictions on states with pre-existing budget shortfalls, and allocations for smaller towns have yet to be worked out. States and cities would get another $915 billion in additional funding under the House democratic proposal, the Heroes Act (HR 6800). Half of the funds would be distributed within 30 days of enactment, based on each state’s share of COVID-19 cases and population size, and the rest would be paid out by May 3, 2021. Under the bipartisan SMART Act (HR 6954, S. 3752) an additional $500 billion would be allocated. Funds would be allocated based on each state’s population size, COVID-19 cases as of June 1, and revenue losses in 2020 compared with 2019. A third of state allocations would have to go to counties and municipalities. Republican leaders are leaning towards more aid, but not for problems that existed before the pandemic. 

    Direct Payments to Taxpayers:
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said recently that the Trump Administration is considering whether to send another round of direct payments to taxpayers in a COVID-19 rescue package that could be approved next month. The Trump administration has privately discussed a $1 trillion measure to stimulate jobs growth. 

    Unemployment Benefits:
    Extending unemployment benefits and creating “return-to-work” bonuses are among plans being floated for the next phase of relief legislation. The most controversial part of this discussion revolves around whether to extend the additional $600 weekly payments. The CARES Act law established the pandemic related unemployment benefit programs. The House Democrats Heroes Act bill would extend those programs, as well the additional $600 per week payment through Jan. 31, 2021. McConnell has made it clear that the additional $600 weekly payment is a non-starter. Senate Finance ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) has proposed automatically adjusting benefits depending on a state’s unemployment rate. 

    There are additional proposals for return to work bonuses, employee retention credits, and paycheck guarantees including Senator Rob Portman’s (R-OH) proposal to eliminate the current $600 per week unemployment benefit for furloughed employees and instead give them $450 per week if they returned to work. 

    Bottom Line:
    Senate Republicans and the Administration want to determine whether existing relief programs are working before committing to another package, however, it is safe to say that there will likely be another COVID-19 relief package in late July/early August. Stay tuned.

    PMAA Urges Congress to Maintain NOL Tax Changes

    On Monday, PMAA joined the National Mining Association and other associations in a letter to encourage the Senate Finance Committee to maintain the CARES Act provision concerning net operating losses (NOL) despite efforts to change that provision. 

    As you know, Congress included changes to the tax rules for NOLs in the CARES Act by providing a five-year carryback for NOLs generated in 2018, 2019, or 2020. In addition, the Act suspends for 2018, 2019, and 2020 the otherwise applicable limitations on excess business losses for noncorporate taxpayers. The NOL carryback provisions have long been bipartisan tools utilized by lawmakers to provide liquidity and are routinely expanded during times of economic dislocation. We urge Congress to protect American jobs by preserving the NOL carryback and suspension of limitation of excess business loss provisions contained in the CARES Act.

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

    PMAA continues to urge 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.

    Free Webinar on Obtaining USDA Higher Blend Infrastructure Incentive Grants 

    Petroleum marketers interested in applying for a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Higher Blend Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grant can join a free webinar detailing the benefits of the program and providing important tips on the grant application process. The USDA is offering up to $100 million in grants under the HBIIP to help transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities convert to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends. The USDA will do this by sharing costs for installation of compatible fuel dispensers and related underground storage tank equipment and infrastructure.

    The webinar is tailored to both retail fuel sites and bulk plant operations and will be held on June 30, 2020 at 2pm eastern time. Click here to access the webinar. 

    New Study Provides Detailed Information on Local, State and Regional Electrification Conversion Programs Nationwide

    A new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) provides comprehensive data from 23 state and regional programs promoting space heating electrification conversions. The ACEEE report is a valuable resource for understanding how individual local state and regional electric conversion programs work. The report includes detailed program by program information including funding sources; number of rebates issued; number of customers converting; electrification technologies included demographic sectors targeted; eligible fuels for conversion and the kind of incentives provided. 

    According to the report, electrification is growing rapidly throughout the Northeast and West Coast regions and is beginning to make inroads in the Mountain States and Midwest as well. Electric utilities along with state and local governments are offering generous rebates to customers converting their space heating systems from heating oil, propane, and natural gas to electric heat pumps. The nationwide combined total for all electric conversion budgets this year is $109 million, up nearly 70 percent from last year. The report presents program data in both narrative and graphic forms. 

    Click here and here for additional information. 

    House Democrats Release Energy Tax Incentives Package

    Yesterday, House Democrats released their energy tax incentives proposal known as the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now Act (GREEN Act, H.R. 7330) which is similar to the energy tax provisions included in the Democrats’ infrastructure legislation. The 94-page bill includes tax credit extensions and expansions for low- emission energy sources. Wind, solar and biodiesel blender’s tax credits would be extended, as would the tax credit for carbon dioxide capture and storage, and energy efficiency measures for homes and businesses. The GREEN Act would also raise limits on the electric vehicle tax credit as well as charging infrastructure. 

    Click here for a full summary. 

    Federated Insurance: It’s Your Life
    Key Points of Income Protection

    In today’s world, business owners have more on their plates than ever before. Balancing customer, supplier, and employee demands with personal and family commitments can be a challenge. As long as you have the ability to go into work each day and earn a living, you can provide for your employees and family. However, what would happen if you became sick or injured and could no longer work? How would you ensure a continued stream of income and support your family while keeping your business running?

    To learn more about the key factors to consider in a disability policy, please click here

    Please always feel free to contact your Federated regional representative or PMAA’s National Account Executive Jon Medo at 800.533.0472 for any additional information or risk management questions. 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. 

    Enabling EMV at the Pump Webinar: Wednesday, July 8 at 2:00pm ET 
    Sponsored by Sound Payments Petro Solutions

    We would like to invite you to our upcoming webinar -- July 8th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time -- Sound Payments EMV Easy Pump Webinar -- that will provide insight into the different scenarios and pumps when it comes to installation to upgrade for EMV. We will be giving real examples of installs to cost-effectively enable EMV at the pump along with the benefits of semi-integration. Additionally, contactless capabilities help eliminate touch point – an important factor to consider as we face a new normal as a result of COVID-19.

    A retrofit, semi-integrated payment solution is cost-effective and helps eliminate touch points at the pump with contactless capabilities. The lower price is much more manageable for stations even during this time. 

    Unable to attend the webinar or prefer a one-on-one? We would love to set up a call! You can also view videos and past webinars here! Stay connected with us through social media and visit us hereSound Payments is a PMAA Corporate Gold Partner. 

    PMAA Platinum Partner Spotlight Featuring: Meridian Associates, Inc.
    Do You Have What It Takes to Be in Petro Marketing’s Winners’ Circle? By Betsi Bixby

    As petroleum marketing competition continues to heat up with mergers and acquisitions, how do you know if you are performing well enough to get and stay in the winner’s circle every time? And never mind just you, how about your full team? How do you know if your whole team can and will execute fully time and time again to put you into that winner’s circle consistently?

    Think about a car racing team. It takes perfect execution from the configuration and fine-tuning of the vehicle they put on the track, to all the pit stops, to driving perfectly through every lap to the coveted finish line. It takes avoiding all the wrecks and obstacles along the way. It’s that way in petroleum too. In the past, when errors were less deadly, you could get away with some sloppy driving and still recover. Today is a different story. 

    To get into the winner’s circle takes a new level of skills. Here’s what Meridian sees that differentiates today’s winners.

    To learn more about PMAA’s Corporate Platinum Partner, Meridian Associates, please visit or contact them at 800.728.9005. 

    Check Out PMAA Journal Anytime Online

    You can take PMAA Journal with you wherever you go. Click here to view the Spring Issue (latest issue always online), optimized for any device. 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 email Innovative Publishing

    PMAA Member Services Spotlight Featuring: Office Depot through National Purchasing Partners (NPP)
    Prepare for Returning to the Workplace with Office Depot and OfficeMax

    Office Depot and NPP can help you save money on janitorial and cleaning supplies. Whether you are looking to switch to disinfecting hand soap or you want to stock up on all-purpose cleaners, Office Depot and OfficeMax can help you get the job done. Click here for pricing on a variety of PPE items offered. PMAA members save money with NPP discounts and free shipping. Certain items are even available for store pickup if your need is immediate. 

    To access Office Depot and OfficeMax discounts through NPP, enroll your business for FREE here. NPP is a member benefit provider of PMAA.

    Restrictions may apply. Subject to availability.