Dear PEI Member:
Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) represents nearly 80 national
line-of-trade associations involved in wholesale distribution. PEI has been
an NAW member since the 1960s.
ago, PEI also affiliated with a comparable group that represents the
interests of manufacturers, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
The chief executive officers of more than 250 trade associations participate
in NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations.
In the last
month, PEI participated in the summer meetings of both NAW and NAM. Here’s
a snapshot of key takeaways gleaned from various presentations and
workshops, as well as one-on-one conversations with the other association
Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (July 10-12)
Although acknowledging that Washington is a mess right now, NAW experts said
they are pleased with two pro-business actions taken by the Trump
administration: the serious effort to reduce burdensome federal regulations
and initiation of a process to scale back the overtime pay expansion
launched in the last days of the previous administration.
ahead, NAW’s primary legislative focus is tax reform, with a goal to ensure
that any lowering of rates and elimination of deductions does not increase
the effective tax rate for distributors. NAW government affairs staff also
is working to protect last-in-first-out (LIFO) accounting, a method that
yields a higher cost of goods sold and lower taxable income for many
wholesale distributors. Some legislators propose elimination of LIFO as one
strategy to raise federal revenue; however, NAW staff said that the House
Republicans’ current tax blueprint would preserve LIFO.
speaker Herb Meyer, an analyst widely recognized as the first senior U.S.
government official to predict the fall of the Soviet Union, spoke on what
he called “today’s biggest underreported news story”: the rapid emergence of
a global middle class. Meyer noted that a world coming out of poverty will
need an enormous amount of fuel and fueling infrastructure, a prospect that
bodes well for internationally oriented PEI businesses.
PEI Forming Service Tech Training Committee
EPA Expands Greenhouse Gas Emissions Review
Skimmer Fraud Increasing in Florida
Free RP900 Webinar
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with other distributor association CEOs confirmed that most are dealing with
issues similar to those facing petroleum equipment distributors. In
particular, consolidation is changing the competitive landscape and forcing
business owners to consider new alignments and revenue models. The shortage
of service and technical labor also is a persistent problem in wholesale
distribution. A few association executives said Amazon is increasingly
disrupting the businesses of their traditional distributors. In fact, nearly
a quarter of the association CEOs at the meeting reported that Amazon is now
one of their members.
Association of Manufacturers (Aug. 2-4)
Tax reform, regulatory reform and infrastructure development are at the top
of NAM’s policy agenda. NAM lobbyists also are working to ensure that any
renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) does not
scrap positive aspects of the existing agreement, including international
protections for intellectual property rights (trademarks, copyrights and
economist projects a 2.3 percent increase in the U.S. GDP this year, a
welcome improvement over the 1.6 percent increase of 2016. But he also noted
the dollar is falling, labor costs are rising and consumer debt remains at
historic levels. As a result, when the next recession comes—perhaps as early
as 2018—the economy will face a hard landing.
executives at the NAM meeting discussed how best to balance the means,
frequency and substance of member communications. Most associations are
moving toward greater use of permission-based communications to give members
the types of messages in which they have shown the greatest interest. PEI
also is seeking to adapt this strategy into our communication channels.
PEI TO FORM SERVICE TECH TRAINING COMMITTEE
In 2016, PEI released
three tools to help members address
the industry-wide shortage of service technicians: recruitment videos, a
skills assessment test and a service technician training manual with an
accompanying test. At the request of the PEI Board of Directors, the
association is forming a new ad hoc committee to recommend additional
service tech-related resources, if any, that PEI should develop. The
committee will conduct much of its work by email and telephone, with the
possibility of one face-to-face meeting in late 2017 or early 2018. If you
are interested in serving on this committee, please send your name, company,
contact information and a brief statement of your qualifications to Rick
EXPANDS SCOPE OF VEHICLE EMISSIONS REVIEW
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
announced Aug. 10 a 45-day comment period on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission
standards for 2021 model-year vehicles. The EPA had previously indicated it
would review the GHG standards for 2022-2025 model-year vehicles. In a
press release, the EPA stated its
intent to harmonize the GHG standards with the Corporate Average Fuel
Economy (CAFE) standards administered by the Department of Transportation
(DOT). On July 26, the DOT’s National Highway Transportation Administration
published notice of its intent to evaluate the CAFE standards for 2021
model-year vehicles in its next rulemaking.
USE GROWING IN FLORIDA
Florida has been among the most aggressive states
in combating credit card skimmers in gasoline dispensers. For example,
legislation that took effect in October 2016 mandated the use of security
devices on dispensers and strengthened penalties for credit card fraud. So
far, however, skimming in the state continues to rise. Through the first
seven months of 2017, inspectors with the Florida Department of Agriculture
located and removed 315 dispenser skimming devices, as compared with 219 for
all of 2016. Effective October 2017, a new Florida law will make the
possession or sale of skimming equipment a crime.
WEBINAR SET FOR SEPT. 19
Last month, PEI released a major revision of
Recommended Practices for the Inspection and Maintenance of UST Systems (see July 19, 2017 TL). To help state regulators and PEI members
better understand key provisions of the new document, PEI will host a free,
one-hour webinar at 10 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, Sept. 19. Presenters are four
members of the committee responsible for drafting PEI/RP900-17: Scott Boorse,
Wawa Inc.; Ryan Haerer, EPA Office of Underground Storage Tanks; David
Piercey, JD2 Environmental Inc.; and Ben Thomas, UST Training. In addition
to presentations from the panelists, the webinar will allow time for
attendees to ask questions.
will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar.
FIND RED VOLUNTEERS FOR OCTOBER CONVENTION
As in past years, PEI is seeking “Find Red”
volunteers to greet and help 2017 PEI Convention attendees find their way
around McCormick Place, the site of this year’s event. Members who volunteer
by this Friday, Aug. 18, will be recognized in the PEI convention program,
on convention signage and on the Find Red page on the PEI website. To learn
more and sign up,
PEI MEMBER NEWS
Champion Laboratories Inc./Petro Clear Filters announced that R-J
Sales & Associates Inc. will represent the company in eight states in
the southeastern United States. R & D Marketing Inc. will represent
the company in 13 western states.
Emco Wheaton Retail Corp. appointed Heather K. Mallard chief
operating officer and general counsel effective Aug. 1. Mallard is a former
partner of the Womble Carlyle law firm and previously served as a senior
corporate officer and general counsel of a publicly traded,
energy-technology holding company.
Jarvis Lighting named J.U.R its manufacturer representative
for petroleum-related products in five western states.
Petroleum Solutions Inc. (PSI) promoted Troy Morris to service
manager for the San Antonio branch. In his new role, Morris will oversee
petroleum service technicians, dispatch and service billing for the San
Antonio region. Troy has been with PSI for more than 10 years.
Seneca Companies named Clif Coker corporate service manager.
Coker was with Murphy USA for 11 years, most recently as its operations
maintenance manager. Seneca also appointed
Ed Rogers account manager and project manager, with responsibility
for supporting construction, upgrades and equipment replacement projects for
VST appointed East Coast Associates Inc., as its manufacturer
representative for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States.
“Contrary to negative reports out of the U.S. Dept of Energy, gasoline
demand is up 1% so far this year and 2017 is on
track to beat 2016’s all-time record.”—Lundberg Letter, Aug. 7, 2017
“Oklahoma's bid to help close a budget shortfall with a new $100 fee on
electric vehicles drew a court challenge from the Sierra Club, which
argues the state didn't follow the correct procedures for enacting a tax or
properly measure the benefits of having those cars on the road.”—Bloomberg
BNA Environment Reporter, Aug. 11, 2017
“Fuel theft in the United States is becoming big business, with
criminal gangs using skimmed credit-card information to steal fuel from gas
stations and specially equipped trucks and vans to carry it away. Criminals
can earn $1,000 or more per day reselling the fuel to unscrupulous truckers,
construction sites and other gas stations that are looking to cut costs,
according to an Associated Press report.”—CSP, Aug. 11, 2017
“Waste Management announced a significant milestone in its natural gas
fleet journey, opening its 100th natural gas fueling station. …
The company also celebrated a significant milestone of operating 6,000
natural gas trucks, which is the largest heavy-duty fleet of its kind in
North America.”—USGasVehicles.com, Aug. 8, 2017
Tennessee fleet management and payment solutions provider. Comdata,
5301 Maryland Way, Nashville, TN 37207, has applied for affiliate division
membership. Kevin Eckelkamp is vice president of products for the company,
which was established in 1969. Comdata provides fleet management and B2B
payment solutions and also manufactures a card lock system and POS system.
Sponsored for PEI membership by Joey Batchelor, GuardTech, Jacksonville, FL.
Florida installation and service firm. Florida Petroleum Services
Inc. 2078 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Apopka, FL 32703, has applied for service
and construction division membership. Matthew Wood is vice president of the
firm, which was established in 1981. The company provides installation and
service of fueling equipment at convenience stores. Sponsored for PEI
membership by Kimberly Wood Savoy, DonWoodInc, Orlando, FL.
Maryland petroleum service provider. Petroleum Standards, 5566 Rhonda
Road, Sykesville, MD 21784, has applied for service and construction
division membership. Scott Jones is operations manager for the firm, which
was established in 2010. The company offers petroleum service, inventory
controls and reconciliation, weights and measures service and calibration of
retail and bulk facilities. Sponsored for PEI membership by JT Celani,
Davis, Conyers, GA.