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February 3, 2017 | Vol. 67, No. 3

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In This Issue

Dear PEI Member:

PEI staff regularly engages in dialogue with regulatory officials and other organizations whose work intersects with or parallels our industry. The past three weeks have been particularly busy in this regard, with visits to the offices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) and meetings of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW). Here are the key takeaways.

Chief executives of NAM-affiliated associations rank oppressive regulations and high taxation as their members’ biggest business challenges. The most often cited area for manufacturer growth? International expansion. Increased use of 3-D printing technologies also is proving to be a boon for fast and accurate prototypes and new niche products.

Executives with distributor-based associations also sounded familiar themes, noting specifically the heavy burden of healthcare costs, consolidation, the shortage of skilled workers and the increase in direct sales to customers. But, on balance, distribution business is strong—just as PEI’s distributor members report.

Not surprisingly, much of the talk in our various meetings concerned what businesses can expect from the new Trump administration. On the environmental front, the EPA will no doubt face changes as a new Administrator with different priorities comes on board. However, the primary environmental framework governing our industry has so far received little attention from President Trump’s team. The administration seems more focused on reducing regulations in “big ticket” areas—power generation and climate change, for example.

At the same time, the possibility of across-the-board environmental regulatory rollbacks can’t be discounted. In fact, the former head of the administration’s EPA transition team said his personal “aspirational” goal would be to cut EPA employment by two-thirds (from 15,000 to 5,000) over four years. It’s hard to imagine how a reduction anywhere close to that could happen without significant cuts in even successful programs like EPA OUST.

Industry and Legislative Updates

EPA Nomination Advances

RP Topics Requested


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The president’s first two weeks in office have certainly been busy, with 21 high-impact executive orders so far and more to come. However, as Jade West, senior vice president for government relations with NAW, said, “Sooner or later, President Trump is going to run out of things he can do by executive order and have to start passing legislation.”

The White House and Congress have announced three immediate legislative priorities: healthcare reform, infrastructure development and tax reform. All are of interest to PEI members.

  • Healthcare. The mantra of “repealing and replacing” the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a central tenet of President Trump’s campaign. But in the early days of the administration, what a new healthcare package might look like remains anybody’s guess. The most likely model is a scaled-down federal program, with more control moving to the states. House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he would like to act on healthcare this spring. The NAM and NAW government relations staffs think summer is a more realistic goal. Perhaps illustrating the legislative difficulties that could lie ahead, some Republican leaders are now speaking of “repairing” the ACA, not repealing it.
  • Tax Reform. NAM and NAW both believe tax reform has a solid chance of passing even more quickly than healthcare reform. A blueprint presented by the House leadership last June includes key elements that are largely in line with President Trump’s wishes—among them, a substantial reduction in income tax rates for corporations and individuals, accelerated depreciation and the deduction of exports from taxable income. Politically, many Democrats won’t want to go on record as opposing tax reduction. Look for action on this front by summer 2017.
  • Infrastructure. Both parties have produced $1 trillion infrastructure plans. But that’s where the similarity ends. The Democrats’ plan focuses almost exclusively on traditional projects, such as road and bridge repair, rail and bus systems, ports, airports and waterways. The Trump administration would devote large sums to the nation’s cybersecurity defenses. The proposed funding mechanisms also differ. Democrats want 100 percent public funding, with possible sources including an increase in the federal gasoline tax. The president has proposed relying on public-private partnerships. The big push on infrastructure likely will come in the third or even fourth quarter of 2017. As a stopgap, however, the president has issued an executive order designed to expedite approvals of infrastructure projects.

Both NAW and NAM advise lowering expectations on near-term comprehensive trade reform—another topic that got lots of attention during the campaign. President Trump has promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), impose tariffs on goods from certain countries and pursue bilateral trade agreements around the globe. But trade deals are complicated because they aren’t just about business. Foreign affairs and complex geopolitical issues also come into play. As a result, it probably will take a while for trade rhetoric to become policy.

On Feb. 2, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA. The committee’s action sends the nomination to the full Senate, where a final vote on Pruitt’s confirmation is expected sometime next week. A simple majority is required for confirmation, and the Republicans hold 52 of the 100 seats in the Senate.

PEI is seeking topics for future recommended practices. Suggestions for a recommended practice topic should meet the following criteria:

  • The subject matter involves practices and/or procedures used in the fuel and fluid handling equipment industry and would serve the greater good of the industry.
  • The topic has not been covered adequately in documents produced by other organizations.
  • PEI members have the expertise to write the document.

If you have a topic you would like for PEI to consider as a recommended practice, email your suggestion to Bob Young at byoung@pei.org by Feb. 28. Submissions should include the purpose and scope of the proposed document, along with the intended audience. PEI’s Recommended Practices Committee will review all submissions and make recommendations to the PEI Board of Directors.

Gas Station Supply
has acquired Kernersville, North Carolina-based Petroleum Specialties. Wayne Henderson, who founded Petroleum Specialties in 2009, will continue to work with the Lynchburg, Virginia distributor. In a company press release, Cole Candler, president of Gas Station Supply, said, “We are excited about our merger with Petroleum Specialties. The addition of Wayne Henderson, with his decades of experience, to our staff, will help us achieve our goal of being a one-stop, full-service petroleum equipment supplier.”

has named Andrea Mulhall vice president of global marketing. In this role, she will guide the company’s global marketing strategy and product management across all product lines.
A & A Pump Company has moved to a new and larger facility after 32 years in its previous location. The new address for the 60-year-old San Antonio distributor is 5747 Dietrich Road, San Antonio, TX 78219.
Performance Ink, Inc. has honored two of its sales representatives with 2016 Manufacturing Rep Awards. Mike Long and Associates received the Sales Award, given to the rep with the highest gross sales for the year. VSA, Inc. won the Growth Award, given to the firm with the largest sales growth percentage for the year. 

John Martin, longtime owner of J.E. Martin & Associates in Arlington Heights, Illinois, died on Jan. 10, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Nancy; daughter Stacy Johnson and son-in-law Dave; son Bradley and two granddaughters.

It’s good that President Trump is meeting with corporate chief executives
and industry leaders to bring jobs back to America. However, he should probably be paying attention to a new report from the National Association of Manufacturers as well. Issued just last week, the study says there are 297,696 regulations that are currently restricting the efforts of manufacturers.”—Washington Post, Jan. 25, 2017
“General Motors and Honda Motor Co. plan to invest $85 million to build hydrogen fuel cell stacks for next-generation green vehicles at a factory in Michigan. The joint venture, Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, will begin producing the fuel cell systems around 2020 at GM’s Brownstown Township, Mich., plant south of Detroit, where the automaker already produces battery packs for hybrid and electric vehicles.”—Autoweek, Jan. 31, 2017
has the most aggressive renewable energy targets in the nation, aiming for its utilities to get 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045. Now advocates want to extend that goal to the transportation sector to urge all forms of ground transportation to fuel up using renewable sources by 2045.”—ABC News, Jan. 19, 2017
“Of the $80 billion or so spent yearly on federal IT, three-fourths goes to the upkeep of outdated systems, leaving a small and shrinking budget for upgrades.”—The Kiplinger Letter, Jan. 6, 2017

Michigan distributor.
Lansing Ice & Fuel, 911 Center St., Lansing, Michigan 48906, has applied for distributor division membership. Greg Decker is sales and service manager for the firm, which was established in 1906. The company provides new construction and service, and represents ClawsonTnk, ESCO, MetersInc, RDMElec, Roth and Vaporless. Sponsored for PEI membership by Brian Shelton, ClawsonTnk, Clarkston, Michigan.
New Jersey controls supplier. Warrington Measurement & Controls, P. O. Box 521, Oldwick, New Jersey 08858, has applied for affiliate division membership. Philip Walguanery is a principal with the firm, which was established in 2011. The company supplies industrial equipment and controls to the petroleum industry. Sponsored for PEI membership by Keith Moye, OPW-FC, Hamilton, Ohio.
Florida service and maintenance firm. Gas Station Technical Repairs Co. Inc., 8100 Belvedere Road #11, West Palm Beach, Florida 33411, has applied for service and construction division membership. Doug Dryden is owner of the firm, which was established in 2015. The company provides maintenance, service and technical repairs for fueling facilities. Sponsored for PEI membership by David Tiger, TigerEnt, Royal Palm Beach, Florida.
Maryland environmental consulting firm. Apex Companies, LLC, 15850 Crabbs Branch Way, Suite 200, Rockville, Maryland 20855, has applied for service and construction division membership. Travis Black is division manager for the firm, which was established in 1988. The company provides environmental consulting, engineering and construction. Sponsored for PEI membership by Galen C. Heaps, PetroSupMD, Elkridge, Maryland.
California contractor. AVA Environmental Inc., 829 W. Compton Blvd., Compton, California 90220, has applied for service and construction division membership. Antonio Verduzco is president of the firm, which was established in 2006. The company provides installation and removal of underground storage tanks, fuel lines and dispensers. Sponsored for PEI membership by Don Petroni, PtrMktgEqp, Placentia, California.


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© 2017
Petroleum Equipment Institute
P. O. Box 2380
Tulsa, OK 74101-2380

The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Richard C. Long, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.