Dear PEI Member:
No federal agency
has garnered more headlines in the first 100 days of the Trump
administration than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Most of
the buzz has been about the massive EPA funding cuts in President Trump’s
proposed 2017-2018 fiscal year budget (see the “Budget Note” at the end of
But the budget drama is only
part of the story. Just as important is a recently launched regulatory
review process that could dramatically change the framework under which the
EPA operates. Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Agenda,”
signed by President Trump on Feb. 24 and published in the Federal Register
on March 1, requires each federal agency to appoint a task force to identify
and recommend for repeal, replacement or modification any of its regulations
jobs or inhibit job creation.
outdated, unnecessary or ineffective.
costs that exceed benefits.
serious inconsistencies or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform.
- Rely on
data, information or methods that are not publicly available or are
- Derive from Executive Orders or other presidential directives that
have been rescinded or substantially modified.
EPA Administrator Scott
Pruitt formed and appointed EPA’s regulatory reform task force on March 24.
Less than three weeks later (April 11), EPA began accepting
public comments “on regulations that
may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification.” The comment
period is open until May 15.
As of 11:59 p.m. yesterday,
33,870 comments had been received—3,528 of which are viewable by the public.
(EPA declines to publish certain comments, including those that contain
inappropriate language or private or proprietary information, as well as
duplicate submissions received as a result of a mass-mail campaign.)
EPA Regulatory Review Process
Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Grants
Service & Construction Managers Conference
Mobil Enters Canadian Market
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Not surprisingly, a large
number of commenters have pushed back against the need for any EPA
regulatory reform at all. The anonymous individual submitting Comment 2266,
for example, said: “EPA regulations should be expanded, not reduced. The
life of our planet is at stake, not to mention our health. Allowing people
and corporations to pollute at will is not in the best interests of either.”
So far, comments relating to
fuel and fuel storage are relatively few in number. A quick search shows
only seven submissions regarding ethanol, 15 on the federal Corporate
Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and only one addressing underground
storage tank systems for vehicle fueling.
The most detailed of the
fuel-related comments is Comment 0085, a rather lengthy letter submitted by
the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), which requests regulatory action
on a variety of matters, including:
Reid Vapor Pressure Relief to E15 and higher level ethanol blends (see March
14, 2017 TL), thereby allowing these fuels to be sold all year long.
- Streamlining the approval process for high-octane E25 to E40 fuel blends.
the CAFE standards to remove restrictions that ACE believes discourage the
use of E85.
EPA’s vehicle emission test models to better reflect the real world.
With almost three weeks
remaining until the comment period closes, more submissions of interest to
PEI members almost certainly will come in. If you would like to make a
comment of your own about the EPA regulations, you may do so
One has to wonder, however,
exactly what EPA will do with all these comments. Administrator Pruitt has
asked EPA offices to submit recommendations for regulatory repeal,
replacement or modification to the agency’s regulatory reform task force on
May 15—the same day the public comment period closes. PEI will continue to
monitor the process and let you know.
Budget Note: As we
reported last month (see March 28, 2017 TL), if enacted, President Trump’s
budget proposal would cut EPA staff by more than 20 percent, slash the state
grant program administered by EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks
(OUST) and put longstanding tribal programs at risk. Since then, other
commentators have predicted reduction or elimination of OUST research,
technical assistance, compliance inspections, publications and conferences.
However, the president’s budget proposal is only the
first step in a long process that will continue until at least the Oct. 1
start of the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Constitutionally, federal appropriations
authority lies with the Congress. So, ultimately, the president will be
asked to sign the Congress’ budget bill—not the other way around. While
some EPA cuts can be expected (perhaps even substantial ones), the final FY
2017-2018 budget will, no doubt, be quite different than the president’s
IOWA APPROVES $3 MILLION
IN RENEWABLE FUELS INFRASTRUCTURE GRANTS
Iowa’s Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Partnership (RFIP) program
received a boost on April 20, when the state’s legislature approved $3
million in grants for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018. Iowa fuel
marketers may use RFIP grants to reimburse purchase and installation costs
for equipment required to store, meter and dispense E15, E85 and biodiesel
blends. Marketers that agree to sell the renewable blends for three years
may apply for a 50 percent reimbursement. Those that commit for at least
five years may apply for a 70 percent reimbursement. Grants are capped at
$50,000 per project. In FY 2017, RFIP awarded $4.4 million in grants to 92
LAST DAY TO REGISTER FOR
SERVICE & CONSTRUCTION MANAGERS CONFERENCE
Today is the last day to register for PEI's
2017 Service & Construction Managers Conference,
May 11-13, 2017, in Indianapolis. Consultant and author Marty Clark will
present general session talks on “Leadership Land Mines,” “Creating a
Standout Experience” and “Making Good Decisions When the Heat Is On.”
Attendees can also select roundtable discussion topics specifically geared
to their needs. Registration is $395 for PEI members ($695 for nonmembers).
To learn more, register and reserve your hotel room, visit
MOBIL ENTERS CANADIAN
On April 19, Canadian grocery store chain Loblaw sold its 213 gas
stations to Brookfield Business Partners. Brookfield simultaneously
announced its intention to
rebrand all of the locations with the Mobil flag.
The purchase price for the acquisition was $540 million (Canadian). While
Mobil is among the leading fuel brands in the United States, this will be
its first appearance in Canada.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE UPDATES
“Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company plans to unveil its electric
semi truck, called ‘Tesla Semi’, in September, which is sooner than most
industry watchers anticipated.”—Electrek, April 13, 2017
has outlined its initial plans for the Electrify America division
the German automaker has launched to dot the US landscape with more plug-in
vehicle chargers. The $2 billion initiative's first phase will entail
spending about $300 million on either deploying or having in the development
process as many as 240 highway-adjacent charging stations throughout 39
states.”—Autoblog, April 17, 2017
“This year, the number of Superchargers available for public use will
double—from 5,000 to 10,000, according to a blog post Tesla published
Monday. That’s 39 percent more Superchargers than CEO Elon Musk promised for
2017 when he unveiled the Model 3. The company will also increase the number
of so-called Destination Chargers located at hotels and restaurants from
9,000 to 15,000.”—Bloomberg, April 24, 2017
PEI MEMBER NEWS
SPATCO Petroleum Solutions, a wholly owned division of SPATCO Energy
Solutions, has opened a new facility in Memphis, Tennessee. The company
also has acquired the assets of PetroTech, LLC, a petroleum equipment
and services supplier based in Plantersville, Mississippi. Steven (Brad)
Gilmore, owner of PetroTech, LLC, will join SPATCO Petroleum Solutions as
operations manager in Plantersville. Headquartered in Charlotte, North
Carolina, SPATCO also has locations in South Carolina, Alabama, Florida,
Georgia and Virginia.
Dixon Pumps has announced two new hires. Randy Cassagne, a mechanical
engineer with more than 18 years of experience in the oil and gas industry,
will be responsible for sales and support in the company’s Southeast region.
Paul Knaub, who has more than 20 years of experience in industrial B2B sales
and application support, will be responsible for sales and support in the
ELAFLEX HIBY Tanktechnik has acquired a major stake in Oasis
Engineering Ltd of Tauranga, New Zealand. Oasis specializes in valves and
couplings used in the compressed natural gas (CNG) industry, including
components and systems for CNG fueling stations and gas delivery networks.
“The busiest time for the gas station of 2035 may be at 2 a.m. when
autonomous driving cars are programmed to take themselves to the station to
fill up for the next morning’s drive to the office.”—Forbes, April
“The California legislature has passed a bill that will more than double
the state’s excise tax on diesel and increase the excise tax on gasoline by
43%. The legislation marks the first time fuel taxes have increased in 23
years.”—Oil Express, April 17, 2017
“Two bills before the Florida Legislature this session, SB 766 and HB
343, would make it a third-degree felony to possess or sell credit-card
skimming devices in Florida. ‘These devices are designed to specifically
collect and steal consumer data,’ said the sponsor of the Senate bill, state
Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-Miami. ‘There is no other place in the market where
you need a device like this.’”—Palm Beach Post, April 20, 2017
France sensor manufacturer. AVENISENSE, 17 rue de Lac Saint Andre, Le
Bourget de Lac, 73370 France, has applied for affiliate division membership.
Svetlana Zezyulinskiy handles marketing for the firm, which was established
in 2010. The company manufactures embedded sensors for quality monitoring of
fuels, oils, gas, chemicals, lubrication, food and beverage. Sponsored for
PEI membership by Royal Wollberg, LqdCntrols, Lake Bluff, Illinois.
Missouri fuel polishing firm. Miles Fuels, L.L.C., 309 Cypress Point
Court, Cottleville, MO 63304, has applied for service and construction
division membership. Vince Miles is owner of the firm, which was established
in 2015. The company provides fuel polishing, tank cleaning, vacuum service
and oil recovery and recycling. Sponsored for PEI membership by Harvey
Stokes, UntdPtrSer, St. Louis MO.
ADMITTED TO PEI
Ice & Fuel, Lansing, Michigan (dis)
Industries, Houston, Texas (aff)
Gross, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Arkansas (O&E)