March 18, 2021 | Vol. 71, No. 6

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In This Issue
Dear PEI Member:

What role do forecourt upgrades play in building consumer loyalty? On a scale from 1 (not important at all) to 5 (extremely important), here's how PEI members scored eight common upgrades:

Clean, safe fuel islands 4.58
Good under-canopy lighting 4.37
Well-maintained hanging hardware 4.22
Other exterior lighting 3.92
Easy-to-read fuel price signage 3.91
Canopy branding and appearance 3.86
Fuel dispenser upgrades 3.82
Forecourt EMV payment technology 3.73

My biggest takeaways from the data are:

  1. The experience comes first. What do fuel islands, under-canopy lighting, hanging hardware and other exterior lighting have in common? All help define the customer's experience. To effectively build fuel customer loyalty, marketers first must get these basics right.
  2. Price and brand go together. PEI members ranked price signs and canopy branding back to back, suggesting a belief that customers look for the brand whose prices they trust — and trust the prices of the brands they prefer.
  3. Dispenser upgrades may be underrated. I take the low ranking of this element with a grain of salt. Members who gave "clean, safe islands" the highest score probably pictured those islands with new or upgraded dispensers — not outdated, dirty ones. 
  4. Forecourt EMV upgrades aren't driving business. Fuel marketers have lots of reasons to upgrade to EMV-ready dispensers. But building customer loyalty isn’t one of them. EMV upgrades are a risk mitigation strategy, not a customer retention tool.

Forecourt Upgrade Survey Results

NAW, NFL Partner on Mass Vaccination Sites

Utilities Form Electric Highway Coalition

Oregon Considers Diesel Ban

PRO Act Moves to the Senate


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Editor’s Note: Some 130 PEI members participated in this survey conducted from Feb. 18 to March 15.

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) is working to support and supply mass COVID-19 vaccination sites at National Football League (NFL) stadiums across the country. As part of the effort, NAW is building a coalition of distributors and distributor-based associations to secure essential supplies for the vaccination sites: liquid hand sanitizer (preferably larger volume pump containers), disinfectant wipes, disposable face masks, medical grade gloves (nitrile or vinyl) and medical waste containers.

As an active member of NAW, PEI applauds and supports this effort. If you can donate or facilitate purchase of any of the needed items, contact NAW Chief Business Development Officer Dan Schuberth at or 732-585-3010.

Six leading utilities have committed to provide an uninterrupted network of fast DC charging stations along major highways from the Atlantic Coast, through the Midwest and South, and into the Gulf and Central Plains. American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corp., Southern Co. and the Tennessee Valley Authority said their goal is to encourage and enable safe, convenient, long-distance electric vehicle (EV) travel. Each coalition member will determine charging station locations within its service area.

The Oregon legislature is considering a bill that would phase out vehicular petroleum diesel sales over a five-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2023. Fuel suppliers that service government agencies would be the first targets. Retailers in all but the most heavily populated counties could continue selling petroleum diesel until Jan. 1, 2028. Blends of 99% biodiesel and renewable diesel would not be affected.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act March 9. The legislation, which now moves to the U.S. Senate, is the most aggressively pro-union bill in decades. Among other elements, the bill would:

  • Ban right-to-work laws nationwide. (28 states currently have such laws.)
  • Reclassify most independent contractors as employees.
  • Require employers to provide union organizers with employees’ email addresses, mobile phone numbers and other confidential information without the employees’ consent.
  • Prohibit mandatory employer-union arbitration agreements.
  • Prevent employers from permanently replacing striking workers.

Both NAW and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) are urging the Senate to defeat the bill. Read NAM’s press release here.

"In the latest NAM [National Association of Manufacturers] Manufacturers' Outlook Survey, 87.6% of respondents said they feel either somewhat or very positive
about their company’s outlook, the highest level in two years. The outlook bounced back from the 33.9% reading in the second quarter of 2020, which was the worst reading since the Great Recession. Medium and large manufacturers were more upbeat in their outlook than smaller firms." - Monday Economic Report, March 15

"Growth Energy announced that drivers across the United States have reached a new milestone, logging 20 billion miles on the road using E15. … Despite its challenges, 2020 brought expanded retail growth for E15, with the number of retail sites selling E15 growing by 10 percent, bringing E15 to more than 2,300 stations across 30 states." — Growth Energy press release, March 9

“ExxonMobil has extended the U.S. Retail Site Technology Incentive Program it launched in August last year until June 30, 2021. The program, originally set to expire March 31, 2021, provides volume-based incentives of up to $2,500 per site to be used for eligible technology upgrades. ... The amount of the per-site incentive is based on 2019 card volume in gallons: $1,250 per site for less than 500,000 gal; $1,750 per site for 500,000–1 million gal; or $2,500 per site for more than 1 million gal.” - Oil Express Alert, March 11

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the approval of the removal of the low Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) gasoline requirements in the Kansas City metro area, which allows for E15 fuel to be sold in the area year-round. … Low RVP fuel was required by state regulation as part of a federally approved plan in Kansas City to help reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions that produce ozone." - U.S. EPA press release, March 12.

"Last month, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced a 10-year, $6 billion dollar contract with Oshkosh Defense for new mail trucks, but only 10% will be electric. Now Congress is considering legislation that would make more of the fleet electric, Reuters reports. … 17 Democrats introduced new legislation in the House of Representatives requiring at least 75% of the new fleet to be zero-emissions vehicles, for no less than 50% of medium/heavy-duty vehicle purchases to be zero-emission through 2029, and for all new vehicle purchases to be zero-emission after January 2040." — Green Car Reports, March 11

"Hyzon Motors plans to produce fuel cells, including a critical component required to power hydrogen vehicles, at two U.S. factories in a move aimed at kickstarting domestic production at a commercial scale. The hydrogen-powered truck and bus manufacturer has already leased a 28,000-square-foot facility in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook and plans to expand it by an additional 80,000 square feet. Production at the Chicago facility is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021." — Techcrunch, March 1

Fiedler Group
announced the opening of a second office in Avon Lake, Ohio. John G. Dzwonczyk will be manager and principal civil engineer at the new location. Dzwonczyk, president of JGD Associates since 1995, is a registered professional engineer in more than 40 states.

Freedom Electronics redesigned its corporate website. The updated site provides easier access to technical information, installation manuals, and EMV dispenser solution installation videos. 

JF Petroleum Group entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Elite Petroleum Inc., effective April 1. Elite Petroleum is a turnkey construction services company based in Greenville, South Carolina.

Modern Welding Co. Inc. directors elected James M. Ruth president. Ruth has served Modern Welding for 39 years, most recently as executive vice president/treasurer. Other officers are James E. Jones, chairman; John E. Jones, vice president/secretary-treasurer and Sylvia C. Jones, assistant secretary.

The Oscar W. Larson Co. announced a partnership with Trive Capital, a Dallas-based private equity firm. With the support of Trive & Sidekick Operators, a strategic firm investing in mission- critical service businesses, Larson will continue to pursue growth and geographic expansion.

Wilson/Rogers named Steve Latimer Jr., president of the firm. Latimer's independent manufacturers' representative firm merged with Wilson/Rogers more than a year ago. Ron Weeks Jr., who joined the company 18 years ago, was named vice president. Scott Wilson will continue in his CEO/CFO and general sales roles.

Indiana environmental company.
Terra Vitae Environmental Solutions LLC, 1060 W. 550 S., Trafalger, IN 46181, applied for affiliate division membership. Lauren Diane Nielsen owns the firm, which was established in 2018. Terra Vitae Environmental Solutions LLC is an environmental compliance company. Sponsored for PEI membership by Mickey Meyer, M & M Service Station Equipment Specialists Inc., Highland Heights, Kentucky.


  • IEC Services, Sacramento, California (service and construction)
  • Rhode Island Hydraulics Co. Inc., North Kingstown, Rhode Island (service and construction)
  • Imagen Corporativa Gasolinera S.A. de C.V., Querétaro, Mexico (service and construction)
  • Jomar Valve, Warren, Michigan (manufacturer)
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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.