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
2019-2020 Board of Directors

Jerry Davidson, Chairman  
 Pete's Corporation

Tommy Shreffler
OnCue Marketing, LLC

Teresa Hollenbeck
Red Rock Distributing Company

Kurtis Hutchinson
Hutchinson Oil Company

Jason Flinn
Flowers Oil Company

Rob Toth
Coffeyville Resource
Click Here to View all PMAA Coronavirus Related Resources for Petroleum Marketers Including all Regulatory Reports
Thursday, April 30, 2020
  • Paycheck Protection Program Funding Available Now!
  • Exemption to Extend the Expiration Date of Certain Transportation Worker Identification Credentials

  • SBA Issues Guidance on Franchise Eligibility for Paycheck Protection Program

  • Five States Ask President Trump for Biofuel Blending Waivers

  • USDA Under Pressure to Allow Online Delivery Sales for SNAP 

  • IRS Announces Temporary Procedures to Fax Certain Forms 1139 and 1045 due to COVID-19

  • Work Comp and COVID-19 Record Keeping

  • Urge Congress to Provide Liability Protection to Essential Critical Infrastructure Industries

  • U.S. Supreme Court to Decide on Whether to Hear Challenge to the Point of Obligation Under the RFS

  • Bill Introduced to Provide Tax Relief to Grocery and C-Store Workers

  • Federated Insurance Announces COVID-19 Client Relief Credit

  • Federated Insurance Sponsored Webinar

  • Federated Insurance April Educational Articles
Paycheck Protection Program Funding Available Now!
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications from participating lenders as of 10:30am EDT Monday.
Last Friday, the President signed into law the latest COVID-19 response bill that replenished the PPP with an additional $310 billion as well as an additional $10 billion for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). The bill did not make any substantive changes to the PPP or EIDL program. Congressional leadership is characterizing the latest COVID-19 response bill as an interim funding effort, with the expectation that they will continue to negotiate a larger “phase 4” package in the coming weeks.
Click here for more information on the PPP.
Click here for more information on the EIDL.

Exemption to Extend the Expiration Date of Certain Transportation Worker Identification Credentials
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), DHS, is granting a temporary exemption from requirements in 49 CFR part 1572 regarding the expiration of certain Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs). For the duration of this exemption, TSA will extend the expiration date of TWICs that expired on or after March 1, 2020, by 180 days.

Click here for the full regulatory alert. 

SBA Issues Guidance on Franchise Eligibility for Paycheck Protection Program
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued additional guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) designed to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll. The guidance is important for any petroleum marketer involved in a franchise/franchisee affiliation. 

The PPP authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms are the same for everyone. The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as (1) the loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8-week period after the loan is made; and (2) Employee and compensation levels are maintained. Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. Not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs. 

What’s new?

Franchise Eligibility for the PPP Program - The Q&A guidance document explains how the $10 million cap and affiliation rules under the PPP apply to small business franchisees. According to the guidance, if a franchise is listed in SBA Franchise Directory, then each of its franchisees meeting the applicable SBA size standard for its category can apply for its own PPP loan. This means that the $10 million cap on PPP loans is a limit on a per franchisee entity basis. Each qualifying franchisee is limited to one PPP loan. The guidance further explains that franchise brands not listed in the SBA Franchise Directory because of affiliation between franchisor and franchisee, may request listing to receive PPP loans. However, the SBA will not apply affiliation rules to a franchise brand requesting listing on the Directory to participate in the PPP, but SBA will confirm that the brand is otherwise eligible for listing on the Directory.

Furthermore, PMAA, NACS, SIGMA and NATSO sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging them to allow convenience stores and gas stations with more than 500 employees per location to take advantage of the PPP.  

Five States Ask President Trump for Biofuel Blending Waivers
Earlier in April, governors from five states requested that President Trump grant the nation’s refineries a waiver from biofuel blending requirements under the RFS due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The governors argued that demand for oil has been very low and, on top of that, blending biofuels only adds to refineries’ costs. Furthermore, the governors argued that reaching the biofuel targets under the RFS are not feasible given the current prices for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

The letter, addressed to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and signed by four governors, states, “As our country comes to grips with this national emergency, continuing to implement the current (biofuel requirements) imposes an added obligation that would ‘severely’ harm the sector, and consequently harm the economy of the States and the Nation.” The letter was signed by the governors of Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. Click here to view the letter. Additionally, Louisiana also sent a letter of its own to President Trump with a similar request.  

Meanwhile, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) issued a blog titled, “Correcting the Record on RFS General Waivers and Severe Economic Harm Amid COVID-19,” that defended the Governors’ move to reduce the corn ethanol mandate. Click here to read the blog.

USDA Under Pressure to Allow Online Delivery Sales for SNAP  
Many lawmakers and nonprofits are advocating for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allow SNAP beneficiaries to shop for groceries online and have them delivered during the COVID19 pandemic. Currently, only six states allow online purchases of food with SNAP benefits through a USDA pilot program, but that number may soon grow due to the COVID-19 health crisis. New York, Washington, Alabama, Iowa, Oregon and Nebraska allow online SNAP purchases, and the USDA is working with more states to allow it. 

A large portion of SNAP beneficiaries are elderly or disabled, two groups that are at increased risk of contracting the virus, so lawmakers have been working with the USDA to allow online SNAP purchases. The USDA has said that it is working with states to allow online delivery sales of food through the SNAP program, although it may take some time. A USDA spokesperson said that it will likely be a lengthy process, saying, “Each state, its EBT processor, and potential retailers present their own mix of challenges.” There is also an increased risk of fraud and improper payment associated with online purchases, but the USDA says it is working with states to find solutions. In the states that are participating in the pilot program, SNAP beneficiaries are often limited to making purchases through two major retailers, Walmart, and Amazon.

However, the USDA has said that it is working on a plan to accept additional retailers that can handle secure processing of EBT cards. 

As the number of people applying for SNAP benefits continues to increase due to the health pandemic, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are seeking to provide a 15 percent increase in funding for the program in the next coronavirus relief package. 

IRS Announces Temporary Procedures to Fax Certain Forms 1139 and 1045 due to COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and to implement the following provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the IRS is implementing temporary procedures for digital transmission of Form 1139 and Form 1045 to claim quick refunds of the credit for prior year minimum tax liability of corporations and net operating loss deductions. The CARES Act allows businesses and individuals to carry back NOLs arising in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to the five prior tax years and accelerates the refunds of previously generated corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) credits. Click here for more information.   

Work Comp and COVID-19 Record Keeping
The National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is the governing body for workers’ compensation for most insurers in 35 states of the United States. As such, NCCI acts as the rating and data collection bureau for workers’ compensation and they set the rules most insurers use for premium calculation and premium audits.
 
NCCI recognizes the unique circumstances COVID-19 has presented employers and has recently communicated that they will very soon be making a rule change relating to the calculation of premium to address payroll paid to employees who are at home but not working. If approved (which will be done by state), this rule will deduct the payrolls paid to those employees while they're at home and not working. We anticipate this rule will be retroactive to the beginning of the COVID-19 federal state of emergency.
 
As mentioned, you may have employees working from home performing work that is much different than the type of work they perform normally. In those situations, a different classification code might be available to you which would likely lower the workers’ compensation rate for those employees while performing this different work while at home.
 
To take advantage of one or both of these opportunities, you should create and maintain separate records of each employee you have paid and are paying while at home - whether working or not. Include each employee's name, brief description of duties (if working), dates and hours paid, and pay rate.  

Urge Congress to Provide Liability Protection to Essential Critical Infrastructure Industries
PMAA, NACS, SIGMA, NATSO and several other associations are urging Congress to protect essential businesses that remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic from lawsuits and other claims by infected persons. The liability protection effort would provide essential businesses, designated as essential critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security, with immunity from lawsuits claiming money damages for persons who allegedly contracted COVID-19 at a business premises or as a result of business operations. The motor fuels, heating fuels and convenience store industries are at the forefront of COVID-19 response efforts and should not have to worry about future lawsuits for providing needed products and services to American consumers.
Please click here to urge your lawmakers for liability protection in a future COVID-19 response bill.

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide on Whether to Hear Challenge to the Point of Obligation Under the RFS
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled next month to decide whether it will review a challenge to the RFS point of obligation brought by Valero Energy Corp. and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). Independent merchant refiners petitioned the EPA in 2016 to consider changing the point of obligation under the RFS which is used to identify the party required to meet annual renewable fuel blending mandates established by the EPA. The EPA rejected the petition for rulemaking stating it did not anticipate any benefit from moving the point of obligation to position holders at the terminal rack. Instead, the agency contended such a change would significantly increase the complexity of the RFS program and reduce its effectiveness by exponentially increasing the number of obligated parties subject to annual blending mandates.
I ndependent merchant refiners who do not blend renewable fuel support moving the point of obligation to blenders position holders at the terminal rack so refiners would no longer required to purchase RIN credits which they currently rely on each year to meet their entire renewable fuel blending mandate. Merchant refiners say the cost of RIN credits is increasingly expensive and creates an uneven playing field by producing windfall profits for blenders who create and sell the RIN credits back to them for compliance with RFS blending mandates. Renewable fuel blenders, on the other hand, want to keep the point of obligation at the refiner so they can continue to earn profits off the sale of RIN credits they create through blending and use them to subsidize the price of gasoline and diesel fuel at their own retail outlets.
Valero and AFPM are asking the Court to decide whether the language of the Clean Air Act requires EPA to determine the point of obligation each year in the same rulemaking that sets annual RFS blending mandates for obligated parties. The Supreme Court is scheduled to consider whether it will hear the petitioners challenge to the way EPA determines the RFS point of obligation on May 15.

Bill Introduced to Provide Tax Relief to Grocery and C-Store Workers
Last Tuesday, Reps. G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Dwight Evans (D-PA) introduced a bipartisan bill that would provide financial support to grocery and convenience store workers who have been deemed essential and continue to work despite the health risks associated with COVID-19. The bill, H.R. 6567, known as the “Giving Retailers and Our Convenience Employees Relief Act” (GROCER Act), would provide a federal tax holiday for grocery and c-store employees from February 15 through June 15 for those currently making less than $75,000 annually and work in a county with at least one confirmed COVID-19 case. Under the bill, eligible employees would be able to exempt up to $25,000 in gross income from their 2020 federal income taxes Furthermore, the legislation permits the Treasury Department Secretary to extend the tax holiday for an additional three months if they so choose. If an extension is granted, the cap would then be increased by $6,250 every month.
In a press release, Rep. Thompson said, “The GROCER Act is a simple way of saying 'thank you' to the men and women who put themselves on the front lines, sanitizing, stocking, and serving communities by putting a little more of their hard earned money back in their paychecks.” Speaking about the grocery and c-store employees this bill would benefit, Rep. Evans stated, "This bipartisan four-month income-tax holiday would be a way to thank these vital workers and help them meet their own needs.”
There is a possibility that this bill could be included in the “Phase 4” coronavirus relief package that is currently being discussed, although the timing of a vote on the package is unclear. Congress is not expected to return until May at the earliest, and even that could get pushed back

Federated Insurance Announces COVID-19 Client Relief Credit
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a multitude of challenges for all of us. Through all of these issues confronting us today, our recommended partner, Federated Insurance, has worked closely with their customers to help them find their way through these unprecedented times. Federated is a “Value-Add” company that provides not only some of the best insurance products designed for our industry, but also the safety and risk management support that our members need for their successful businesses. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, they have provided the latest guidelines to help our members navigate through these times. In addition, they have provided billing options to ease cash flow concerns and adjusted payroll and premium basis, where appropriate.

On April 28th, Federated announced their COVID-19 Client Relief Credit, providing premium reductions for their customers in our industry and others throughout the country.

  • Federated’s COVID-19 Client Relief Credit will provide a 15% credit based on Business Auto premium, Auto Dealer/ Garage Coverage Part premium, and Business Owners Policy (BOP) premium from March 15 to June 15. Policies must be in force at the time relief credit is applied. These actions are subject to regulatory approval.

Policyholders will automatically see the COVID-19 Client Relief Credit applied in the upcoming months.  

Federated was founded on the four cornerstones of equity, integrity, teamwork, and respect, and has once again shown that they are dedicated to serving the needs of the members of this organization. This is one of the reasons that your association board continues to recommend Federated Insurance. They work hard to do what is right for their customers. 

If you are not currently a Federated client, now is the time to check them out. Their unique Right Report® will identify exposures and customize an insurance program specifically for your business, reflecting today’s environment and needs.  

Association membership doesn’t cost, it pays!

Federated Insurance Complimentary Webinar
Business Protection: 
Disaster Planning, Response, Recovery
Tuesday, May 5, 2020 (1 PM CT)
45 minutes | Complimentary  
Advance Registration Required

Disasters of any type can be costly for businesses, and even result in permanent closure. Taking steps to prepare and plan for potential disasters, both natural and man-made, will help businesses minimize disruption and recover more efficiently. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) offers two programs, OFB-EZ and EZ-PREP, to help owners protect their business’s bottom line, their employees, and create a more resilient community.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND 

  • Risk Managers
  • Operations Managers
  • HR Professionals
  • Owners/Operators

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

  • Identify and evaluate your business’s vulnerability to disruptions

  • Identify your key business functions, processes and develop alternative operational strategies

  • Develop best practices that should be conducted five days before, 72 hours before, 24–48 hours before, during, and immediately after, and during the recovery process for weather events with advanced warnings
Federated Insurance April Educational Articles
Property/Casualty and/or Workers Compensation subjects

A Human Resources-related question and answer from independent HR legal professionals

Concepts related to Life and Disability insurance