April 14, 2020 | Vol. 70, No. 8

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In This Issue
Dear PEI Member:

By yesterday morning, U.S. banks had processed 880,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications and approved $217 billion in loans. Unless Congress expands the program, the balance of the $350 billion PPP fund likely will be gone within the next week.

But many employers who do not obtain PPP loans will be able to take advantage of a second Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act benefit. Under the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) program, eligible employers may take a payroll tax credit of 50% of qualified wages (including health plan expenses) paid from March 13 to Dec. 31, 2020. The maximum ERC is $5,000 per employee.

Eligible employers are those that in any calendar quarter either:

  • Fully or partially suspend operations due to a governmental order limiting commerce, travel or group meetings; or
  • Experience a greater than 50% decline in gross receipts from the comparable 2019 calendar quarter.

A “partial” suspension occurs when the business “can still continue to operate but not at its normal capacity,” according to recently issued IRS guidelines. The legal experts PEI consulted for additional clarification said they expect the IRS to interpret the provision liberally.

One advantage of the ERC is its simplicity. Rather than filling out a prequalification application, participating employers just calculate and deduct the allowable credits from their quarterly federal employment tax returns (usually Form 941).

If you are not receiving a PPP loan, check with your financial and legal advisors to see if the ERC could benefit your company.

Employee Retention Tax Credits

VISA Declines to Delay October EMV Deadline

New Jersey Rejects, Oregon Extends Self-Service Fueling

PEI Business Conditions Survey

2021-2026 CAFE Standards Finalized




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by e-mail to the editor, Rick Long at rlong@pei.org

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Visa denied a request by five major fuel marketer organizations to delay the Oct. 1 EMV forecourt liability shift deadline. (See March 31, 2020 TulsaLetter.) NACS, NATSO, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) and the Merchant Advisory Group based their March 23 request on disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visa stated that it is monitoring the situation and believes that it is too soon to determine if a delay of the liability shift is needed,” NACS stated.

In a March 30 tweet, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy rejected a call from the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience, Automotive Association (NJGCA) to temporarily allow self-service fueling in the state.

NJGCA’s request noted that full-service fueling violates 6-foot social distancing guidelines. The association also said gasoline stations are facing staffing difficulties as COVID-19 spreads. Following the governor’s rejection, NJGCA said it would continue to press the issue.

On April 10, the Oregon State Fire Marshal extended through April 25 its temporary order allowing statewide self-fueling for stations that meet certain conditions. A previous order would have expired April 11. The fire marshal’s FAQs on the order may be found here.

A PEI member survey released April 8 shows a marked deterioration in business conditions since a similar survey conducted in mid-March. Among other findings:

  • 58.1% of participating manufacturer members reported revenue declines as a result of COVID-19.
  • Among distributors and contractors, 48.5% had lower construction revenue, 51.5% had lower equipment sales and 68% had reduced service work.
  • With less than 6 months to go until the EMV forecourt liability shift, respondents said 62% of retail fueling customers have not yet placed upgrade orders.

Results are based on responses collected April 6-7 from 281 PEI member companies. Complete findings may be found here.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released final corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and CO2 emissions standards for model year 2021-2026 light-duty cars and trucks.

The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule increases CAFE and CO2 emissions standards by 1.5% annually through 2026. The projected overall average fuel economy under the SAFE Rule for 2021-2026 model year vehicles is 40.4 mpg. The previous standard would have required approximately 54 mpg by 2025.

An EPA press release states the SAFE Vehicles Rule will reduce regulatory costs by as much as $100 billion and boost new vehicle sales by up to 2.7 million.

Before finalizing the rule, the agencies evaluated more than 750,000 public comments on an April 2018 preliminary proposal. The final rule may be found here.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on April 10 provided guidance on the necessity of recording COVID-19 illnesses. OSHA will not require employers to count an employee’s COVID-19 illness as a recordable incident unless two conditions are met:

  • There is objective evidence the COVID-19 case may be work-related — for example, an otherwise unexplainable cluster of illnesses among employees who work closely together; and
  • That evidence was reasonably available to the employer in the course of managing its business and employees.

To ensure continuity of essential functions in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided guidance on the conditions under which asymptomatic critical infrastructure workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 may continue working.

The guidance recommends: temperature checks before each shift; employee self-monitoring during work hours; wearing masks for 14 days after exposure; social distancing; and frequent work space disinfection.

“Blink Charging ... has unveiled a new portable emergency charger designed to help EV drivers who find themselves stranded and without a plug. There's an ironic catch, though: It runs on gas. … Blink imagines the charger would be perfect for roadside assistance companies, insurance companies, auto manufacturers, and credit card companies that offer roadside services.” www.autoblog.com, April 12, 2020
“As ExxonMobil has done, Shell is promoting mobile payment to buy fuel to reduce contact with other people and with surfaces that could lead to infection during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.” Oil Express Alert, April 6, 2020
“Onexpo, the largest organization of gas station operators in Mexico, warned through a statement that 80% of the country's fuel stations are experiencing serious threats to their operational and economic viability because of the pandemic caused by COVID-19. … Onexpo ... has proposed to the relevant authorities and national banking institutions, as well as suppliers and customers, a set of measures to support ... the fuel retail market in Mexico.” www.petrolplaza.com, April 3, 2020

Pat Kennedy
, 63, president of Kennedy Tank & Manufacturing Co. (Indianapolis), Southern Tank & Manufacturing Co. (Owensboro, Kentucky) and Steel Tank and Fabricating Corp. (Columbia City, Indiana), died April 12 of complications from COVID-19. Survivors include his wife Cheryl; daughter Maura; sons Bill, Patrick and Jimmy; brother-in-law Paul Bolin; and his grandchildren. The family will have an April 16 private visitation, memorial and prayer service. A public wake, funeral and celebration of life will be planned when COVID-19 social distancing restrictions are lifted.

NUPI Americas Inc.
retained Petro Energy Inc. as the company’s representative in the South Central region, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Dean Dendy, Angela Parr and Bill Rath manage Petro Energy’s sales in the territory. John Autry, NUPI national sales manager, also will support distribution in the area.

Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association (STI/SPFA) hired Tim O'Toole to replace current Executive Vice President Wayne Geyer, who will retire later this year. For the past 10 years, O’Toole was director of marketing for the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA). He has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Elmhurst College and a Master of Business Administration from Webster University.

Mexican reseller.
Equipos y Refacciones Maldonado SA de C. V., Calzada de la Hacienda Mz 132 Lt 23, Col. Ojo de Agua, Tecámac, Estado de México, 55770 Mexico, applied for affiliate division membership. Dulce María Barba Romero is gerente administrativa of the company, which was established in 2008. Equipos y Refacciones Maldonado SA de C. V. sells, resells and maintains equipment for gas stations. Sponsored for PEI membership by Rodrigo Quiroz, Global Light Co. LLC, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Arkansas service provider. Arkoma Services, P.O. Box 27, Magazine, AR 72943, applied for service and construction division membership. Mike Witt is president of the firm, which was established in 2012. Arkoma Services performs tank replacement and general maintenance services. Sponsored for PEI membership by Tim Gibbar, Nwestco LLC, Littleton, Colorado.


  • Turtle Wax Pro, Park Ridge, Illinois (affiliate)
  • Additech Inc., Sugar Land, Texas (affiliate)
  • PBA Construction Inc., Corona, California (service and construction)
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The TulsaLetter 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.