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 May
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
2020-2021 Board of Directors

Kurtis Hutchinson, Chairman 
 Hutchinson Oil Company

Jerry Davidson
Pete's Corporation

Teresa Hollenbeck
Red Rock Distributing Company

John Netherton
Danielson Fuel Services

Jason Flinn
Flowers Oil Company

Rob Toth
Coffeyville Resource
  • Click Here to View all EMA Coronavirus Related Resources for Petroleum Marketers Including all Regulatory Reports

  • Click HERE to View the Latest Coronavirus Resources Provided NACS Relating to Convenience Stores as Essential Businesses
Thursday, April 15, 2021
  • 2021-2022 OPMCA Membership Directory
  • State and Regional Energy Sector Risk Profiles
  • CDC Revises Cleaning Guidelines
  • VISA Declines to Extend Upcoming EMV Liability Shift Deadline
  • Biden Administration Releases Infrastructure Proposal
  • Regulatory Compliance Reminder: New Edition of DOT ERG Requires Update of In-Cab Emergency Response Information
  • IRS Issues New Guidance Important for Marketers
  • EMA, Coalition Urge Biden Administration to Reject Proposals to Commercialize Rest Areas
  • DHS Releases Employer Guidance Regarding Vaccination Hesitancy
Less than three weeks until the 2021 OPMCA Convention!
We are now less than three weeks from the 2021 OPMCA Convention on May 4th, 2021. The Convention will be taking place in person with COVID-19 safety precautions strongly encouraged.


We ask that those interested in attending to please register in advance online below. We know times are unprecedented, but we are doing everything we can to have a safe and enjoyable event! OPMCA encourages all members to attend and participate in convention activities.
2021-2022 OPMCA Membership Directory
OPMCA's publishing partner, E&M Consulting, is wrapping up production of the 2021-2022 Membership Directory. There’s still advertising space available! To discuss options, please contact a sales associate at (800) 572-0011 ext.1005 or send them an email at advertising@emconsultinginc.com.


 

As always, your support of the Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association is greatly appreciated!
State and Regional Energy Sector Risk Profiles
The following information from DOE provides some data that may be useful to you from time to time, such as “Annualized Frequency of and Property Damage Due to Natural Hazards”. The state-by-state documents include vital information on electric power and natural gas which may be useful in your talking points arguing against the de-fossilization of the industry (for example, electric utility outage data and number of people affected). Also, of course there is good data on motor fuels including: Causes and Frequency of Petroleum Refinery Disruptions, 2009 – 2019; Top Events Affecting Crude Oil and Refined Product Pipelines, 1986 – 2019; Top Events Affecting Petroleum Transport by Truck and Rail, 1986 – 2019; and Petroleum terminals storage capacity.
 

From DOE:
DOE is pleased to announce the release of an updated set of State and Regional<https://www.energy.gov/ceser/state-and-regional-energy-risk-profiles> Energy Sector Risk Profiles. Encompassing all 50 U.S. States, Washington D.C. and 10 FEMA Regions, the risk profiles examine the causes, frequency, impacts, and history of energy disruptions at a state and regional level. They present both natural and man-made hazards with the potential to disrupt electric, petroleum, and natural gas infrastructure. The State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Program worked with the Argonne National Lab to update the data and enable states to make well-informed decisions about their resilience strategies, energy security policies and investments. In the past, DOE’s risk profile data and maps have been used in state Energy Assurance Plans, stakeholder presentations and tabletop exercises.
CDC Revises Cleaning Guidelines
For hard surfaces, “cleaning once a day” is now OK as long as there are no known COVID-19 infections.


Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting facilities, relaxing recommendations for some types of cleaning when COVID-19 risks aren’t elevated.


Because the virus that causes COVID-19 can land on surfaces, it’s possible for people to become infected if they touch those surfaces and then touch their nose, mouth or eyes, the CDC said. In most situations, however, the risk of infection from touching a surface is low, and when no people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections are known to be in a particular space, “cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces and help maintain a healthy facility,” the CDC said.


The agency recommends regular hand washing or use of hand sanitizer, along with regular cleaning and disinfecting surfaces to reduce the risk of infection. The CDC recommends cleaning with products containing soap or detergent to reduce germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and potentially weakening or damaging some of the virus particles, which decreases risk of infection from surfaces.


Disinfecting kills any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection. Retailers should either clean more frequently or choose to disinfect (in addition to cleaning) in shared spaces if certain conditions apply that can increase the risk of infection from touching surfaces, such as high transmission of COVID-19 in the community, a low number of people wearing masks, infrequent hand hygiene, or the space is occupied by people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.


In the event a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 was in a facility within the past 24 hours, retailers should clean and disinfect the space. Click here for further details on the new guidelines related to cleaning and disinfecting facilities.


To learn more about ways c-stores achieve clean, read “Cleaning Solutions” in NACS Magazine.


NACS e-learning partner Ready Training Online (RTO) has created a free seven-minute training module on how to help prevent the spread of illness and disease at businesses.

 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed EPA-registered surface disinfectant products in its Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 list. The EPA notes that coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. 


VISA Declines to Extend Upcoming EMV Liability Shift Deadline
Last week, Visa declined to extend the upcoming mid-April EMV liability shift deadline for another six months that EMA requested. Click here to read Visa’s response to EMA President Rob Underwood and click here for more information about the Visa Transaction Advisor.

The Energy Marketers of America (EMA) along with NACS, SIGMA and NATSO requested that the card networks extend the EMV liability shift deadline for one final time through October 2021 to ensure small business fuel retailers have time to fully comply. EMA recently heard from its state association member companies that major equipment and service providers are booked through this summer for EMV projects. For example, Arkansas retailers are experiencing a six-to-ten-week lead time for EMV equipment to arrive plus another two to three weeks for installation. Rural small business retailers are also experiencing delays due to lack of technicians and equipment.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the card networks extended the deadline from October 1, 2020 to mid-April 2021. Specifically, the AMEX, Discover and Mastercard deadline is April 16th while VISA’s deadline is April 17th. Given Visa’s refusal to extend the deadline, EMA urges retailers to be fully EMV compliant as soon as possible. 


Biden Administration Releases Infrastructure Proposal
At the beginning of April, President Biden announced the first of a two-part infrastructure proposal, the American Jobs Plan, which includes the Made in America Tax Plan. According to the Administration’s fact sheet, the 8-year, $2.25 trillion proposal includes $621 billion in transportation and infrastructure improvements aimed to modernize 20,000 miles of roads and renovate at least 10,000 bridges. The plan would direct $174 billion to promote adoption of electric vehicles (EV) and creates grants and incentives for private industry and state and local governments to install 500,000 EV charging stations over the next ten years. In addition, the Biden Administration recommends extending key clean energy tax credits expected to cost $300 billion over the next decade. To finance the plan, the Biden Administration would raise corporate taxes from 21 percent to 28 percent and increase taxes on companies’ foreign earnings.

While the Biden Administration released a framework, Congress must draft and pass the legislation where it will face an uphill battle in the divided Senate and could face challenges in the House where Democrats hold a very slim vote margin. Congressional Republicans quickly voiced opposition to the plan and associated tax increases. Several Democratic Representatives from the northeast stated they would not vote for a package that includes tax changes unless Congress also repeals the State and Local Tax (SALT) caps. Recognizing the likely need to move the package without bipartisan support, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked the Senate Parliamentarian to allow Democrats to move the bill under reconciliation, which would allow Senate Democrats to pass the measure on strict party lines. Success of this route, if permitted, is dependent on support from moderate Senate Democrats like Sens. Manchin (D-WV), Sinema (D-AZ), and Kelly (D-AZ) who urged a bipartisan path forward.

In addition to policy priorities, various incentives, and proposed tax credits – the Administration proposes funding levels for key programs including: $300 billion for housing-related investment including $27 billion for a Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator, intended to “mobilize private investment into distributed energy resources; retrofits of residential, commercial and municipal buildings; and clean transportation;” $35 billion for clean energy technology and jobs, including $5 billion for climate-focused research and $15 billion for climate demonstration projects (including “utility-scale energy storage, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, advanced nuclear, rare earth element separations, floating offshore wind, biofuel/bioproducts, quantum computing, and electric vehicles”).

Made in America Tax Plan

President Biden is proposing $2 trillion in corporate tax increases over 15 years to help offset the cost of the of the infrastructure components of the plan. Broadly speaking, the revenue-raising side of the Made in America Tax Plan reverses many changes included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in 2017, and closely tracks with President Biden’s campaign proposals. Among other tax provisions, the plan raises the corporate tax rate to 28 percent (from 21 percent); increases a minimum tax on multinational corporations by doubling its rate to 21 percent and requiring companies to calculate that tax on a country-by-country basis; and imposes a 15 percent minimum tax on companies’ book income (which is the income corporations use to report their profits to shareholders). The American Jobs Plan also eliminates tax breaks available for oil companies, makes it more difficult for businesses to deduct expenses associated with offshoring jobs, and boosts IRS funding for enforcement actions against corporations. President Biden did not propose an increase in motor fuels excise taxes or a change towards a vehicle mile traveled (VMT) tax.

Outlook

The legislative strategy for President Biden’s plan remains unknown, as key Democratic Congressional leaders, including House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), would prefer to bundle an infrastructure package with surface transportation, which expires September 30, 2021. More details on process are expected to come when Congress returns to session.

Looking ahead to the American Families Plan, we expect President Biden to announce proposals affecting taxes on high-income individuals’ income, capital gains, estate taxes, step-up in basis and a potential extension of the expanded child tax credit. 


Regulatory Compliance Reminder: New Edition of DOT ERG Requires Update of In-Cab Emergency Response Information
Every four years, the U.S. DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) publishes an updated version of its Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) required for use by CDL drivers hauling hazardous materials. The latest version of the emergency response guide, ERG 2020, is now available. ERG 2020 updates and replaces the ERG 2016 edition currently in use by energy marketers. The ERG guidebook is intended for use by first responders during the initial phase of a transportation incident involving hazardous materials.

Click here to read the full Regulatory Report.


IRS Issues New Guidance Important for Marketers
Recently, the IRS issued new guidance for employers on the rules that will apply to the Employer Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) for the first two quarters of 2021.

As EMA previously reported, the ERTC provides businesses that have experienced a significant decline in revenue (as defined in the rules) or that were fully or partially closed due to a government order with a refundable tax credit based on qualifying wages paid to eligible employees.

Originally a business could not obtain both a PPP loan and the ERTC – but that rule was eliminated and now businesses can take advantage of both programs provided that wages paid with PPP funds are excluded for the purpose of calculating the ERTC. Businesses that may qualify for the ERTC are strongly encouraged to work with their advisors to ensure that they are maximizing their potential benefit under this program.

Changes to the Employee Retention Credit for the first two calendar quarters of 2021 include:
  • the increase in the maximum credit amount,
  • the expansion of the category of employers that may be eligible to claim the credit,
  • modifications to the gross receipts test,
  • revisions to the definition of qualified wages, and
  • new restrictions on the ability of eligible employers to request an advance payment of the credit.


A copy of the new guidance may be found here.


EMA, Coalition Urge Biden Administration to Reject Proposals to Commercialize Rest Areas
Last week, EMA, along with organizations representing hundreds of thousands of mostly small businesses, urged Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to reject proposals to carve out any exceptions to the longstanding ban on commercial rest areas that would allow state departments of transportation to compete against the private sector by selling food and fuel, including electric vehicle charging, or other commercial services at Interstate rest areas. Click here to read the letter.


DHS Releases Employer Guidance Regarding Vaccination Hesitancy
Employers of workers within the critical infrastructure sectors are essential to reducing vaccine hesitancy within their workforce by becoming messengers of accurate, reliable, and timely information. That is why this DHS, CISA Insight [CISA Insights: COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy within the Critical Infrastructure Workforce] provides an overview of COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy and steps that critical infrastructure owners and operators can take to reduce the risk and encourage vaccine acceptance across their critical sectors’ workforce.

To reduce the risks of low vaccination rates, it is important employers become messengers of accurate and reliable information within their workplaces and across their industries. According to the CDC, employing some or all these measures may help to increase vaccine acceptance:


  • Have workplace leadership take the COVID-19 vaccine, capture their experience using video or photo, and share the experience with their staff.
  • Train interested staff to become COVID-19 vaccination ambassadors who will speak confidently and honestly, relaying personal stories about the vaccine to fellow coworkers and answer any of their concerns.
  • Employ all available communication tools when promoting the COVID-19 vaccine to staff including social media, internal communication channels, and posters or signs around the workplace.
  • Set a virtual townhall where leadership, respected local medical experts, and staff share about their COVID19 vaccine experience, other vaccine facts, and answer audience questions. Use experts to communicate to your staff and constituents when talking about the COVID-19 vaccine. Ensure that these experts present factual information about the vaccine, including risks.
  • Some employers give employees paid time off to get the vaccine and offer paid sick leave for employees who have significant reactions to the vaccine.
  • While waiting to become vaccine-eligible, continue using all non-medical intervention methods to protect against the COVID-19 virus and all variants by social distancing, frequent handwashing, and the use of masks. Encourage these practices within your staff and implement policies where needed.


While COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy within the critical infrastructure workforce represents a risk to our National Critical Functions and critical infrastructure companies and operations, CISA recognizes that this critical infrastructure workforce can also serve as a key stakeholder in encouraging the rest of the population to get vaccinated and help the return to everyday life. If vaccine acceptance is low across these populations, others within a community may also be reluctant to accept the vaccine when it becomes available to them. Employers of frontline essential workers have an opportunity to encourage and lead their critical infrastructure workforce in COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. Building and sustaining public trust and confidence in immunization systems is essential and the critical infrastructure workforce can play a vital role.

For additional resources see the CDC’s Essential Workers COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit


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