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July 6, 2017 | Vol. 67, No. 13

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Dear PEI Member:

The 2017 PEI Convention at the NACS Show is just around the corner—and early bird and discounted group registration rates close next Tuesday, July 11 (less than one week from today).

This year’s convention is Oct. 17-20 at Chicago’s beautiful McCormick Place convention center. PEI’s headquarters hotel is the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, conveniently located next door to the center. PEI also has room blocks at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, the Palmer House Hilton and the W Chicago Lakeshore.

What awaits you in Chicago?

  • Exhibits. The petroleum equipment section of the trade show floor sold out weeks ago. You’ll want to allow plenty of time to check out the 650 booths of interest to PEI members—including the latest offerings from established exhibitors and innovative solutions from first-time exhibitors. The trade show is open Wednesday, Oct. 18 through Friday, Oct. 20.
  • Networking. Every year, attendees tell us that meeting old acquaintances and making new contacts is one of the biggest benefits of the convention. Whether on the floor, in educational sessions, in the hallways or through scheduled meetings, you’ll find exceptional networking opportunities from beginning to end.
  • Fun. The PEI Convention is serious business, but it’s also fun. When the trade show closes on Tuesday and Wednesday, kick back at PEI’s After-Hours Lounge at the Hyatt. And be our guest for food, drinks and entertainment at the Industry Reception on Thursday night.
  • Education and Inspiration. The complete educational schedule includes management, technical and operational ideas to suit every attendee’s needs.  Here’s a quick peek at just some of the sessions you can enjoy Tuesday through Thursday.

Convention Early Bird Closes July 11

Texas Privatizes Meter Calibrations

Best Practices to Stop Skimmers

Mexico Approves E10



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Tuesday, Oct. 17

At the PEI 10-Groups Breakfast & General Session, New York Times bestselling author Steve McClatchy will present “Lead, Don’t Just Manage the Process.” McClatchy’s engaging talk will explain the importance of:

  • Understanding the difference between leading and managing.
  • Adopting new strategies for improving your business.
  • Managing resistance and gaining commitment to change.

Note: If you are not a PEI 10-Groups member and would like to attend this session, contact Bob Young at byoung@pei.org or 918-236-3966 to RSVP.

The PEI Women will hear Steve McClatchy discuss how to “Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress & Lead by Example” and the PEI Young Executives Discussion Groups will help emerging leaders discover how their peers manage today’s most challenging business issues.

Wednesday, Oct. 18

The Kick-Off Breakfast features an inspiring presentation by Mike Abrashoff, former commander of the USS Benfold and author of It’s Your Ship. At 36, Abrashoff took command of the USS Benfold, the ship with the highest turnover rate in the U.S. Navy. In only 12 months, Abrashoff’s innovative leadership drove the Benfold to a No. 1 performance ranking among all ships in the U.S. fleet. In Chicago, Abrashoff will explain how strategies similar to those he used also can help business leaders “right their ships.” Tickets to the Kick-Off Breakfast are $30 and can be purchased online or by calling Sondra Sutton at 918-236-3967.

Other Wednesday educational sessions include:

  • Economic Outlook by Brian Beaulieu, CEO of ITR Economics and chief economist for Vistage International. This entertaining session includes short- and long-term global economic forecasts, regional economic updates, a forecast for inflation and the economic indicators executives should follow to improve performance.
  • Safety: Confined Space Entry by Art Sodermark, president of Platinum Engineering & Safety and the author of the popular “Safe Practices” department in the PEI Journal. This hands-on session offers the latest guidance and best practices on some of the most dangerous work PEI members are called to do.
  • True Cost of Labor for Revenue-Producing Employees by Joey Cheek, executive vice president, Guardian Fueling Technologies and a past PEI president. How can you determine the actual hourly cost of labor for service technicians, installers and other revenue-producing employees—and how can you make money on this work? This session will give you the insight required to answer those questions for your operation.
  • How to Find and Keep the Right Employees for Your Business (Without Stealing From the Competition!) by Kathryn Newton, Ph.D., MBA, associate dean for Graduate Programs, Supply Chain Management, Purdue University. Distributors typically spend about half of their gross margin on employee wages and benefits. This session will show you the secrets of recruiting for success, retaining A+ employees and using feedback to enhance performance.
  • Your Exit: How Smart Business Owners Are Rapidly Building Their Organizations’ Value by Gene Marks, CPA, owner and operator of the Marks Group PC. Learn why so many business owners will be selling their business in the next few years and how you can capitalize on that trend. Marks provides the essential tools you need to value your business. You might not like what he tells you! But you will walk away with critical, real-life tactics for operating your company at its highest level.

Thursday, Oct. 19

  • PEI Membership Breakfast & Meeting. All PEI members are encouraged to attend the annual membership meeting and complimentary breakfast. PEI President Craig Hoyer will reflect on his year in office, and PEI Executive Vice President Rick Long will provide an update on where the industry is and where it’s going. New PEI officers also will be elected and new directors installed.

  • The Internet of Things and Cybersecurity. As more and more technology hits the forecourt, the industry can leverage the experience of electric utilities, which have already dealt with many of the concerns we now face, including critical infrastructure protections; big data aggregators and analytics; consumer engagement; customer information systems; mobile payment; and security protocols. The panel of experts also will field questions from the audience.

  • Fuels and Fuel Equipment. This fast-paced panel discussion will feature short talks from industry heavyweights and plenty of time for questions. Key topics include the cause and cure for ULSD corrosion; the future of fuels; and essentials on two highly anticipated recommended practice revisions: PEI/RP900 (Inspection and Maintenance of UST Systems) and PEI/RP1200 (Testing and Verification of Spill, Overfill, Leak Detection and Secondary Containment Equipment).

  • Employee Engagement the Southwest Airlines Way by Colette Williamson, manager of leadership and employee training for Southwest. Listen to the inspiring story of the renowned Southwest Airlines Gratitude (SWAG) employee recognition program. You’ll be able to take away concepts for how you can improve employee onboarding and engagement in your company.

  • Latin American Session. For the first time, this year’s convention will feature a special session—presented in Spanish—on a topic of great interest to members working in this important market. Stay tuned for more details on this one. The PEI Latin America steering committee is meeting this summer to determine the scope and content of this 90-minute session.

The PEI Convention is the biggest event of the year. Won’t you join us in Chicago? Register by July 11 to take advantage of early bird rates and group discounts. And while you’re at it, reserve your housing to make sure you get the hotel you want.

On July 5, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed volume standards for renewable fuels for 2018 and biomass-based diesel for 2019 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The conventional (corn-based) ethanol volume for 2018 remains at the statutorily mandated 15 billion gallons. Biomass-based diesel volumes for 2018 and 2019 also are steady at 2.1 billion gallons. As in recent years, however, the EPA used its statutory waiver authority to lower the 2018 volume requirement for cellulosic ethanol to 238 million gallons, noting the “slower-than-expected development of the cellulosic biofuel industry.”

Although ethanol advocacy groups were encouraged by the 2018 volume standards, EPA also announced that it is beginning a technical analysis that could lead to a reset the of RFS requirements in the future. In making this announcement, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said, “The Clean Air Act requires EPA to reset volume targets when certain conditions are met. We expect those conditions to be met in the near future, so we are conducting technical analysis now, to inform future reset rules.”

The complete EPA rule can be found here.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation June 15 to privatize dispenser meter calibrations and fuel quality testing in the state. Until now, both functions have been performed by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Under the legislation, which takes effect Sept. 1, meters must be inspected, tested and calibrated every two years by a licensed service technician. Tolerances are +/- 0.5%, in accordance with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines. The Texas Food and Fuels Association, which strongly supported the legislation, has provided additional details at www.tffa.com/legislative.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has been awarded a $1,094,000 UST cleanup grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Grants made under the LUST Trust Fund to our partners like MDEQ give states the flexibility to clean up petroleum contamination from leaking underground storage tanks,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA is providing funds directly to Mississippi so that the state may determine how best to address its unique and critical environmental challenges.”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on June 22 posted several steps retailers can take to guard against credit card skimming. Best practices mentioned by the FTC include: the use, logging and tracking of security seals with serial numbers; regular inspections of card readers and PIN pads that are not flush with the dispenser panel; and immediate shutdown and investigation of any dispenser that appears suspicious. For more information, the FTC referred retailers to a NACS skimming resource guide.

More than 300 PEI members and state regulators already have registered for PEI’s free July 12 webinar on PEI/RP1200-17: Recommended Practices for the Testing and Verification of Spill, Overfill, Leak Detection and Secondary Containment Equipment at UST Facilities. To learn more and register, click here. Registrants will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar.

Effective June 27, Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission increased the allowable amount of ethanol in gasoline from 5.8 percent to 10 percent throughout much of the country. Excluded from the increase are the high-population centers of Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. Because the higher E10 blend is optional, not required as in the United States, E10 will compete for market share in Mexico with other gasoline oxygenation solutions, primarily methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the parent company of Circle K, closed its acquisition of CST Brands Inc., a $4.4 billion transaction on June 28.
Just days before, the deal had received regulatory approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Canada's Competition Bureau after the company agreed to divest 70 CST sites in the United States and 367 sites in Canada. With the acquisition, Couche-Tard operates more than 9,000 convenience stores in North America.
QuikTrip announced plans to add 100 stores in Austin and San Antonio within the next year. The company’s current Texas footprint includes 134 stores in the greater Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area. Founded in 1958, Tulsa, Oklahoma-based QuikTrip owns and operates more than 750 convenience stores in 11 states.

Modern Welding Co. Inc.
promoted Stephen “Steve” Fort to vice president of sales and named Murray Hiller manager of the company’s Modern Welding Co. of Georgia Inc. subsidiary, located in Augusta, Georgia.
Petroleum Solutions Inc. (PSI) has promoted Wes Nance to director of service, with oversight of the service departments in PSI’s 11 branch locations across Texas. PSI also named Rob Schackart branch manager for the company’s Grand Prairie location.

“The U.S. conversion to EMV chip card payments took a step forward
Thursday when fuel-pump maker Gilbarco Veeder-Root announced what it says is the first EMV chip card transaction from a fuel dispenser. The transaction took place at a 49 Fuels gas station in Burlington, N.C., at an undisclosed time.”—Digital Transactions, June 15, 2017
“According to a soon-to-be released Fuels Institute report series, ‘Tomorrow’s Vehicles’ (available in mid-July), plug-in hybrids are poised to increase market share
of new vehicles sold from less than 0.5% of those sold in 2016 to potentially as much as 4% by 2025. Together, plug-in hybrids and traditional hybrids could account for more than 7% of new vehicles sold by that time.”—NACS Online, June 19, 2017
“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's updated fall protection rule, which went into effect Jan. 17, allows certain activities to be done without fall protection systems as long as the work is ‘temporary and infrequent.’ However, the agency has not yet provided guidance on what that means and how it will be enforced, leaving employers uncertain about what is expected of them.”—BNA Occupational and Safety Health Reporter, June 29, 2017
“The convenience channel increased fuel sales 2.6% in 2016 vs. the year prior, averaging 149,917 gallons per store per month, which coincided with inside sales hitting a record $233 billion, up 3.2% from the year before.”—CSP Daily News, June 20, 2017


  • Yongjia Chengding Machinery Co., Ltd., Oubei Town, Wenzhou, China (mfr)
  • Berrys Technologies, Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom (mfr)
  • Coastal Construction & Petroleum Services, Inc., Jacksonville, Florida (S&C)
  • JBM Petroleum Service, LLC, Lincoln, Delaware (S&C)
  • A.T.B.L. Fuel Management Solutions Ltd., Freeport, Trinidad and Tobago (S&C)
  • Fuel Pros, Inc., Chino, California (S&C)
  • Tbone Construction, Colorado Springs, Colorado (S&C)
  • Bulloch Technologies, Mississauga, Ontario (aff)
  • Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland (aff)


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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.