OPMCA Connection
Keeping You Informed!


OPMCA Connection keeps you informed and current on regulations from all state and national agencies as well as laws pertaining to the petroleum marketing/c-store industry.
OPMCA STAFF

Candace McGinnis
Executive Director  
Candace@opmca4you.com 

Hannah Fite
Director of Member Services  
Hannah@opmca4you.com

OPMCA  
6420 N. Santa Fe, Suite B
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Phone: (405) 842-6625 
(800) 256-5013 
Fax: (405) 842-9562
2018-2019 Board of Directors

Tommy Shreffler, Chairman  
 OnCue Marketing, LLC

Jerry Davidson
Pete’s Corporation

Jason Flinn  
Flowers Oil Company

Teresa Hollenbeck
Red Rock Distributing Company

Kurtis Hutchinson
Hutchinson Oil Company

Brian Lohman
ASAP Energy, Inc.

John Netherton
Danielson Fuel Services

Duff Thompson
AVP Metro Petroleum LLC

Rob Toth
Coffeyville Resource
The 2019 OPMCA Convention is two months away, with the hotel room block ending in just one month!

With the Convention quickly approaching, be sure to complete this checklist to make sure you are ready!
OPMCA Convention Checklist:
  • Have you registered for the OPMCA Convention yet? If not, register HERE.

  • Do you have a golf team? Email Hannah at Hannah@opmca4you.com

  • Have you gotten your Trade Show booth yet? If not, click HERE.

  • Just attending the Trade Show? Register HERE.

  • Have you reserved your hotel room yet? If not, click HERE.
Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019
  • OCC - Attention Owners and Operators

  • New Government Spending Bill does not Include Tax Extenders

  • Refiners Threaten Litigation if One-Pound RVP Waiver is Extended to E-15 Blends

  • PMAA Urges Congress to oppose Rest Area Commercialization

  • EPA May Include RIN Market Reform in Draft Rule Allowing Year-Round Sales of E-15

  • Many States to Issues SNAP Benefits Early for March

  • Visa and Mastercard Raise Fees in April

  • Federated Insurance February Educational Articles
OCC - Attention Owners and Operators
New Government Spending Bill Does Not Include Tax Extenders
Although there was some discussion on Capitol Hill over the past few weeks about potentially attaching a tax extenders package to the spending bill to keep the government open, lawmakers decided to leave the extenders package out of the spending deal. The tax extenders package would likely have included a renewal of the $1 per gallon biodiesel blender’s tax credit and the oil spill liability tax (OSLT). 

"There have been press reports stating that, if the extenders aren't part of the funding bill, they're dead — and I reject that conclusion," Grassley said yesterday. "Regardless of what happens on the bill to keep the government open, I will continue to fight to get the extenders enacted." There is still some hope that a tax reform “technical corrections,” retirement fix and disaster relief package could emerge in the coming months which could provide the legislative vehicle for a tax extenders package to hitch a ride. 

Earlier this month, PMAA sent a letter to House and Senate leadership in support of a 2018 retroactive renewal and multi-year extension of the $1 per gallon biodiesel blender’s tax credit, which expired on December 31, 2017. Click here to view the biodiesel tax credit letter. Additionally, the extenders package would likely have included a renewal of the oil spill liability tax (OSLT). Last month, PMAA sent a letter urging Congress to oppose a retroactive renewal of the OSLT. Click here to view the OSLT letter.

Other credits that would likely have been part of the tax extenders package include: installation of qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling property in a home or business; the Alternative Fuels Excise Tax Credit for the use of propane as a transportation fuel, known as the “propane autogas tax credit;” and the Section 25C tax credit for the installation of qualified high-efficiency residential HVAC systems and certain energy-saving home retrofits.

Refiners Threaten Litigation if One-Pound RVP Waiver is Extended to E15 Blends
The major refining groups sent a letter to Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler last week threatening litigation if the agency goes through a proposal to expand the sales of E15. Specifically, the refining groups told the Acting Administrator that the EPA does not have the authority under the Clean Air Act to grant an RVP waiver for E15 blends. Granting the RVP waiver would clear the way for year-round sales of E15. 

Congress established the one-pound RVP waiver under the Clean Air Act but limited it solely to blends between nine and ten percent ethanol. Since Congress created the waiver, only Congress can change it. Currently, E15 can only be used during the winter driving season where it meets RVP limitations. However, during the summer driving season when gasoline volatility increases, E15 cannot be sold because it no longer meets federal RVP requirements without the one-pound waiver. The RVP waiver effectively limits E15 to boutique fuel status. 

The Trump Administration promised to expand the RVP waiver to E15 as a consolation to farmers who have been hit hard by international trade barriers. In the event the EPA extends the RVP waiver to E15, opponents are expected to file an injunction to bar the agency from implementing the change until the federal courts decide whether it is within the agency’s authority to do so. It is still uncertain whether the upcoming EPA proposal will include RIN trading limitations designed to prevent credit speculation to stabilize the biofuel credit market. The EPA’s proposed rule is expected to be published before the end of this month.

PMAA Urges Congress to Oppose Rest Area Commercialization
Earlier this month, PMAA and a coalition of other groups, sent a letter urging Congress to protect the ban on privatizing and commercializing interstate rest areas. The letter was sent to House leadership and to committee members and staff with jurisdiction over transportation policy. Click here to view the letter.

The ban on the commercialization of rest areas has resulted in a strong, competitive economic environment with over 60,000 businesses developing along U.S. interstate highways. Prohibiting publicly-run rest areas from competing with private sector businesses has been an undeniable success, resulting in industries that provide valuable services such as gas stations, travel plazas, truck stops, restaurants and hotels.

EPA May Include RIN Market Reform in Draft Rule Allowing Year-Round Sales of E15 
The EPA is likely to include sweeping reforms to the biofuel credit trading market in an upcoming proposed rule allowing the year-round sale of E15 blends. Biofuel credit trading (RINs) reform is important to petroleum marketers because unregulated speculation by Wall Street banks and commodity traders have destabilized the RIN market, resulting in higher gasoline prices at the pump. The EPA reforms are focused on eliminating market manipulation, preventing undue speculation, increasing transparency in the trading process and eliminating RIN hoarding. Among the proposed reforms under consideration by the EPA are:

  • Barring Wall Street banks and commodity traders from participation in the RINs market; 
  • Limiting refiner, blender and importer position limits to 120 percent of their biofuelblending obligations; 
  • Requiring RIN market participants to disclose the number of credits reserved for hold over above a set threshold established by the agency; 
  • Limiting RIN trading to obligated parties (fuel refiners and importers) required to buy RINs to meet annual biofuel blending quotas; and 
  • Limiting the length of time RINs can be held.

The EPA does not intend to implement all the listed reforms. Instead, the agency is seeking public comment on a range of reform options from which the agency will select for inclusion in a final rule expected later this summer. Publication of the EPA’s proposed rule to permit year round sales of E15 and impose new biofuel credit trading limits is expected by the end of February. 

Many States to Issue SNAP Benefits Early for March
Because of the prior partial government shutdown and subsequent issuance of USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) February Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits earlier than usual, at least 35 states and territories will accelerate March SNAP benefits as well.

When USDA’s funding expired on December 21, 2018, SNAP benefits for January were fully funded and FNS found a work around for February benefits but they had to be dispensed by January 20. Now most states are moving up their March payment schedules to lessen the gap between payments for low-income households and to help retailers keep shelves stocked at the right times.

SNAP retailers are urged to prepare for early transactions and to staff and stock stores appropriately. To view your state’s SNAP distribution schedule for March, click here.
VISA and Mastercard to Raise Fees in April
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Visa and Mastercard will raise fees in April. Increases on interchange fees, which retailers pay their banks when accepting a card transaction, and fees that the banks pay to Visa and Mastercard for processing payments, will also increase.

The companies justify the increases by claiming security measures must be enhanced to prevent fraud and theft, and they continue to point out that retailers receive more sales if they accept card payments. Yet both saw 33 percent increases in their fourth quarter 2018 net income as compared to Q4 of 2017.

Increasing fees could also cover the cost of the $6.25 billion settlement the companies face after losing a U.S. antitrust case. Although that money had supposedly already been set aside, fees may be increased to also offset costs of antitrust investigations in Europe.

Visa and Mastercard make up an oligopoly and the fees the two companies charge are growing. PMAA continues to call for an end to price fixing by Visa and MasterCard and the card issuing banks.

Federated Insurance February Educational Articles
Data Breach Management: Preparation is Key

Remote Hires, I-9s, and Notaries?

Will Your Life Insurance Policy Die Before You Do?