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May 11, 2018 | Vol. 68, No. 9

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In This Issue

Dear PEI Member:

As soon as a May 8 White House meeting involving President Trump, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Agriculture and senators from corn-growing and oil-producing states ended, the headlines declared a major victory for ethanol.

The president, according to those first reports, had agreed to the nationwide, summertime sale of E15 — a development ethanol advocates have long said would boost E15’s position in the nation’s vehicle fuel supply. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, for example, tweeted, “Terrific final decision from @POTUS meeting: E15, year-round plus RINs for all exports. This is a WIN-WIN for everyone.”

Why all the excitement?

The Clean Air Act places extra restrictions on fuel sales from June 1 to Sept. 15. Warmer summer temperatures cause highly volatile fuels to evaporate rapidly and increase air pollution, particularly ground-level ozone. Volatility typically is measured by the fuel’s Reid vapor pressure (RVP). The higher the RVP, the greater the fuel’s tendency to evaporate. In most jurisdictions, the allowable summertime RVP for non-flex fuel vehicles is 9 psi.

Because E15 has an RVP closer to 10 psi, it cannot be sold legally for non-flex fuel vehicles during the summer. A presidential decision to waive the summertime RVP requirement for E15 would, therefore, be a very big deal.

However, the initial post-meeting reports were a bit premature. Within hours, several meeting participants began clarifying their statements. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania described the outcome as an “agreement in principle.” Iowa’s two Republican senators were even more cautious. Sen. Joni Ernst said negotiators were “headed in the right direction.” Sen. Chuck Grassley tweeted, “Need to see … plan. Devil in details.”

Did the White House Promise an E15 Waiver?

PEI Purchasing and Inventory Managers Conference

California Sues to Protect Fuel Efficiency Standards

News From the States


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The White House has yet to make an official statement, but a deputy press secretary emailed Bloomberg News: “President Trump is pleased to announce that a final decision has been made that allows E15 to be sold year-round, while providing relief to refiners."

That sounds positive, but two big questions remain.

First, can a single package offer relief to the many different types of refiners involved in the ethanol supply chain? Some are large operations: others, small. Some are importers; others, exporters. If negotiations with the refiners break down, will that scuttle the E15 waiver?

Second, will the White House use emergency powers to allow nationwide E15 sales this summer? If a summertime RVP waiver can be achieved only through a lengthy regulatory or legislative process, the earliest possible effective date will be the summer of 2019. Sen. Grassley, the staunchest advocate of E15 in the meeting, has said he does not expect a waiver before 2019.

Although the early claims about the May 8 meeting may have been exaggerated, I think a deal will come together, the summertime waiver will be granted and, as a result, E15 adoption by U.S. retailers will accelerate—but not this year.

Register now for the 2018 PEI Purchasing & Inventory Managers Conference, June 7-9, at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at Seaworld in Florida.

Attendees will participate in a range of discussions, including compensation plans; cores and warranty management; customer freight policies; cycle counts; controlling inventory with barcodes; and service management software. Distribution expert Jason Bader also will speak on turning buyers into investors; inventory turns and customer service; and sales vs. profits.

To learn more, register and book your hotel, click here.

Joined by 16 other states and the District of Columbia, California filed a lawsuit on May 1 to prevent the EPA from reducing federal corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for 2022 to 2025 model year vehicles.

In April, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the EPA would revise rules finalized shortly before President Obama left office that require automakers to reach an average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Pruitt based his decision on a formal finding that the fuel economy standards were impractical, could reduce vehicle safety and would impose higher costs on consumers, particularly the poor.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who filed the action in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, said the Obama-era standards are achievable and based on sound science. Becerra also noted that the states joining the lawsuit represent 140 million Americans and nearly 43 percent of the nation’s new car market.

Other states participating in the lawsuit are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Each year, the PEI Convention at the NACS Show is the single best place to learn, grow, gain inspiration and connect with others in the retail fueling industry.

Early bird registration for the 2018 PEI Convention opens Monday, May 14. The show will be Oct. 7-10 in Las Vegas. To register and reserve your hotel rooms, click here.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a May 14 stakeholder meeting to discuss how best to amend the state’s underground storage tank (UST) rules to align with the 2015 federal UST requirements. Interested parties may attend in person or by logging into a DEQ video conference link. For more information or to submit comments in advance, visit the DEQ events page.
Colorado. Inspectors from the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety report that 40 percent of the known UST releases in the state are discovered through tank removals. Colorado’s updated Petroleum Storage Tank Regulations, which took effect May 1, are available here.
Iowa. The Iowa Legislature approved $3 million for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) in fiscal year 2019. The program assists Iowa retailers with the costs of installing blender pumps and other equipment necessary for the sale of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.
Missouri. EPA Region 7 awarded a $100,000 grant to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to assist in cleaning up petroleum contamination from leaking USTs in the state.
Texas. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is offering $15 million in grants to convert or replace heavy-duty vehicles with natural gas power. TCEQ will accept applications for the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program through May 31, 2019.
Wisconsin. According to Oil Express, Wisconsin fuel retailers sold a record 17.28 million gallons of E15 during the first quarter of 2018. The first quarter figures are 90 percent of Wisconsin’s total E15 sales during 2017.   

Kirk Mercer
, former PEI president and CEO of R.W. Mercer Co. in Jackson, Michigan, received the 2018 Distinguished Service Award from his alma mater, Jackson College. Mercer was recognized May 2 at the Dr. Ethelene Jones Crockett Distinguished Alumni and Jackson College Distinguished Service Award Reception, and May 5 at the Jackson College commencement ceremony.
PDQ Manufacturing named One Stop Carwash Equipment Pvt. Ltd. as a distributor of PDQ vehicle wash equipment for Victoria and Tasmania, Australia.
Seneca Companies appointed Loyd Phillips vice president of safety. Phillips joined Seneca in 2017 as a strategic account manager for the Waste Solutions division. He has 12 years of experience in safety roles with large oil refineries and natural gas companies.
Snyder Industries’ parent company, Tank Holding Corp., named Greg Wade CEO. Wade has been president of Tank Holding since 2017.
Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association (STI/SPFA) elected Charles A. Frey Jr., vice president of Highland Tank and Manufacturing, and Rich Horn, regional sales manager for Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., to the STI/SPFA Hall of Fame. The STI/SPFA Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the organization.    
Tanknology Inc.
named Megan Stewart international manager for the Americas, Australia and Africa. For the past three years, Stewart has served as the international coordinator for Tanknology.

“Andeavor will change its name to Marathon Petroleum
(MPC) when the $23.3 billion merger deal is completed, an Andeavor spokeswoman said on Tuesday. … As OPIS reported on Monday, MPC and Andeavor plan to keep Andeavor and ARCO retail fuel brands after the merger …. However, ... Marathon will be the dominant brand in the combined retail asset.”—Oil Express News Alert, May 1, 2018
“The auto industry is finally getting traction on its quest to make 95 RON octane gasoline — basically the same grade as Europe’s regular and the lowest grade of premium here — the new regular in the United States. … That would eliminate today's grades, generally 87 octane for regular, 88-90 for midgrade and 91-94 for premium.”—Automotive News, Apr. 17, 2018
“At its annual meeting Wednesday, Audi announced an ambitious plan to build 20 new electrified cars by 2025, most of them battery electrics. The company says it will invest $47.6 billion (40 billion euros) into these electrified cars, a new app platform for its cars, a new fleet of autonomous vehicles to be launched in 2021, and into creating sustainable factories.”—Green Car Reports, May 10, 2018

Missouri manufacturer.
Shure Manufacturing, 1901 W. Main St., Washington, MO 63090, has applied for manufacturer division membership. Ryan Wakeman is sales manager for the company, which was established in 1941. Shure Manufacturing makes secure transaction drawers used in convenience stores and other commercial settings. The company’s products are sold through distributors. Sponsored for PEI membership by R.N. Cole VSA Inc., Dallas, Texas.


  • China Baotai Science and Technology Co. Ltd., Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China (mfr)
  • EAPetrol, Guayas, Ecuador (aff)
  • NAX Petroleum, Superior Township, Michigan (s&c)


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© 2018
Petroleum Equipment Institute
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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.