October 27, 2010 | Vol. 60, No. 21
|Dear PEI Member:
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack used a National Press Club speech last week in Washington, D.C., to offer new financial incentives for the biofuels industry, including grants for new gasoline station dispensers and storage systems.
"Over time, a key missing link in the effort to meet the RFS2 goal has been and will continue to be the lack of convenient locations to obtain higher blends of biofuels. Convenience store operators and marketers remain reluctant to incur the cost of new pumps and tanks. USDA and other federal departments can and should offer help," Vilsack said.
"I have instructed Rural Development officials to provide financial assistance, using existing RD programs and resources, to provide matching funds to help install 10,000 blender pumps and storage systems over the next five years," he said. "Work will commence immediately on putting that program together."
In his speech, Vilsack also pledged to encourage "more use of biofuels in our [USDA's] fleet of almost 43,000 vehicles." USDA can move forward with the new programs without additional funding or approval from Congress, he said.
The Agriculture Department plans to offer matching grants for the dispensers starting next year, reports the Des Moines Register. The Petroleum Marketers Association of America, citing a meeting it had with USDA officials a few weeks ago to offer ideas for expanding ethanol markets and the use of blender pumps, pledged its "support towards helping USDA and the Office of Rural Development implement the blender pump initiative."
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PEI CONVENTION A BIG SUCCESS
Attendance at PEI's annual convention in Atlanta was strong, and the current mood of PEI members at the convention was essentially one of guarded optimism. Exhibitors in the Petroleum Equipment & Services and Technology sections of the trade show commented favorably on the quality of the attendees and were pleasantly surprised with the number of visitors from Central and South America.
For the benefit of those who couldn't be with us in Atlanta, here is a brief summary of the convention's highlights.
Dennis Rethmeier, president of Western Pump, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, California, was elected to serve as the 61st president of PEI. On January 1, Rethmeier will succeed Peter H. Ward, president of Glasgow Equipment Service, Riviera Beach, Florida, in PEI's top elected position. Rethmeier is currently serving as PEI vice president.
Replacing Rethmeier as vice president will be Joey Cheek, president of JMP Solutions, Inc., headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Cheek has just completed his term as treasurer of the association, and has twice represented Distributor District 3 on the PEI board. Terry D. Cooper, president/COO of Acterra Group, Inc., headquartered in Marion, Iowa, was appointed treasurer of the association by the PEI Board of Directors.
Seven new board members were installed as members of the association's board of directors during the Atlanta convention. They are Scott Hafer, Hafer Petroleum Equipment, Reading, Pennsylvania (District 2); Tim Woofter, Stanwade Metal Products, Inc., Hartford, Ohio (District 4); Susan Gozdowski, Ampsco, Forest View, Illinois (District 6); Mark Cowie, White-Tucker Company, Houston, Texas (District 8); Eva Chambers, Veeder-Root Company, Simsbury, Connecticut (District 10); Brad Baker, Husky Corporation, Pacific, Missouri (District 12); and Brian Wiegert, Rounds & Associates, Urbandale, Iowa (Affiliate Division).
The buzz among convention attendees centered around the acquisition of Dresser, Inc., by GE and the anticipated decision by EPA to allow fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) in certain model year vehicles. Members' expectations for 2011 and 2012 ran the gamut from unbridled exuberance and optimism to hoping for the means to hang on until the economy improves.
The educational sessions planned by the 2010 Education Committee were top notch and well attended, with many playing to packed meeting rooms. Handouts for most of the sessions are available for free download at PEI's convention sessions and events page.
Members attending the PEI convention in Atlanta are encouraged to complete the brief convention survey. Your candid observations and recommendations are taken very seriously and will help us make next year's convention even better.
SEEKING MEMBERS TO PLAN 2011 SERVICE & CONSTRUCTION MANAGERS CONFERENCE
FBO FUELING SYSTEM RECOMMENDED PRACTICE COMMITTEE APPOINTED
TWO STATIONS IN IOWA SELLING E15
A New Century FS station in Vinton started selling E15 on October 22. Owner Kevin DeGoey took advantage of grant money provided by the Renewable Fuels Association to replace the 15-year old dispensers with blender pumps. When asked about the liability associated with misfueling, DeGoey told Radio Iowa that "there is some liability there, but we're a company that's pushing for renewable fuels and I think that's the direction we need to head."
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The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.