December 14, 2012
Dear NJGCA Member:
Thank you for reading this week's NJGCA Road Warrior!
Here is what you will find in this edition:
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
•Aviation Fuel in the tanks, changes to lottery program, and More
BUSINESSES FOR SALE!
•Looking for a new opportunity? Businesses for sale below!
•Do YOU have equipment for sale or are you looking for a new employee?!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE
•State confirms six N.J. gas stations distributed aviation fuel
•Assemblyman introduces bill to rein in lottery privatization plan
•Democrat Barbara Buono running for governor in NJ
•Michigan governor signs 'right-to-work' bills
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM BELLOMO FUELS
•Serving New Jersey since 1910 -- Over 100 years of supplying gasoline to service station retailers like YOU!
TRAINING CLASS SCHEDULE
•Interested in taking a class? See below!
MEET THE FOLKS AT LIBERTY GAS
•Looking for a new brand for your station? Take a look at the opportunity below!
MEMBER BENEFIT PARTNER MESSAGE
•TMP Energy Solutions: Another Way to Save On Your Energy Bills!
ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATIONS FOR SERVICE STATIONS
•A special message from Prestige Environmental!
POLITICAL PARTICIPATON: THE NJGCA PAC
•Participate in the NJGCA PAC today and help us keep our Agenda rolling in Trenton!
THE MEMBER TOOL BOX
•On the NJGCA Homepage
JOIN NJGCA ON FACEBOOK -- CLICK HERE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
AVIATION FUEL IN THE TANKS, BEWARE OF GASOLINE BROKERS!
CHANGES TO THE LOTTERY PROGRAM, AND SOME PERSPECTIVE ON THE MARKETPLACE
Well folks it seems like there’s never a good time for me to take a vacation, which is perhaps why I take so few of them (something my wife is not very happy about that by the way). I came within a few hours of missing last week’s Assembly Committee hearing on the lottery (more on that issue later) in order to make my flight to Disney World. As soon as I landed back in NJ my phone was buzzing from reporters, members, and government officials looking for my input on various issues.
One of the main things I was getting calls about was the recent incident in which it was reported that jet fuel had been pumped into several gas stations and sold to customers. We now have a few more details about that incident. For one, there was no jet fuel involved, it was aviation fuel. Yes there is a distinct difference. Jet fuel is a kerosene based product that would knock out a car before it got down the road, whereas aviation fuel is essentially gasoline with an extremely high octane level, in this case 104.7. It also has a small amount of lead, which will not damage the engine but can hurt a vehicle’s catalytic converter. In all, the aviation fuel was pumped to six different stations across Central Jersey, all of them owned by one individual.
This dealer was contacted by a broker who was offering to sell him premium gas at a price that was several cents lower than the price for regular gas. He claimed the gas must be removed from a distribution terminal that was damaged in Hurricane Sandy, and therefore was being offered at an extremely low price set as a clearance. The dealer jumped at the offer and ordered several deliveries. Except the broker wasn’t actually selling premium gas, he was selling aviation fuel. The product was originally owned by a major oil company. In this debacle, ownership changed hands to two other companies before being offered for sale thru the broker.
While the seventh truck was being filled up, the driver of the truck asked someone at the terminal why all this aviation fuel was being sent to gas stations. That innocent question started a chain reaction that led to the unraveling of the entire scheme.
By the time word went up the ladder that there was a problem; the ninth truck was being loaded. The terminal officials aborted the load and properly called DEP, who then contacted the dealer to inform him that there was a serious problem. Ironically, if that driver had never thought to ask that one innocent question, this whole situation likely would have gone unnoticed! In fact, that is probably what the broker was counting on (this broker, by the way, was conveniently missing from a meeting I attended at the Division of Consumer Affairs that included all other parties involved.…).
Ultimately, this dealer is going to have to pump out and dispose 80,000 gallons of fuel he already paid for. This whole incident is going to cost him in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. So remember that old pearl of wisdom, if something seems to be too good to be true, it usually is. I would feel bad for this individual, if not for the fact that 3 of these stations were branded locations and absolutely should NOT have been buying or selling unbranded fuel. Not only is that hugely illegal and unethical, it’s a personal pet peeve of mine! Why? Because it is cheating other honest dealers. Many of you have first hand experience or knowledge of the dealers that I have turned in to authorities. Yes I turn in members as well as non-members!
BEWARE of any broker that calls you to offer product at an attractively low price. The particular broker involved in this instance is named Bill Nappo (sp) representing a company named Zephyr Oil and Gas. If it is too good to be true, then stay away from the offer!
Last week I told you about the Committee hearing I testified at regarding proposed changes to the state’s lottery program. Well this morning I met with the Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery, Carole Hedinger, and two of her staff, as well as NJGCA staffer Eric and members Roger Verma and Kashmir Gill. We had a lengthy discussion about the future of the lottery. The first thing to understand is that there is not a wholesale privatization of the lottery that is being proposed. It is only the marketing of the lottery that is going to be handled by a new private company, and much of what they want to do will have to be approved by state lottery officials. While I was not opposed to this proposal before the meeting, I must say that afterwards I viewed it a bit more positively than I did beforehand. I think there is a very good chance that having a private company involved, with its own cash flow, will be able to effectively expand the sales of the lottery and address many of the criticisms retailers have had over the years of the commission not being responsive enough.
HOWEVER, even after a lengthy discussion, we ultimately had to agree to disagree on the topic of internet lottery. Mrs. Hedinger does not believe that the implementation of internet lottery will bring much harm to retailers. I wholeheartedly disagree and stated that point clearly and repeatedly. There is almost no data to back up her claim, except for somewhat flawed data from a poorly executed attempt in Illinois, so I have to trust my instincts on this. And my instincts are screaming that internet lottery will harm your business. Thankfully, the contracted manager will not be able to impose fees on retailers, which addresses another concern I had. We were given advance copies of a letter that should arrive in your mailboxes by the end of the week. The letter is being mailed to every lottery retailer in the state, and is meant to address many of the concerns that have been raised by this plan. You can read that letter by CLICKING HERE. I am happy to say that Mrs. Hedinger truly seems to place a lot of importance on what’s good for the retailers, and I was pleased to learn her father owned a gas station in Toms River where she pumped gas growing up.
Below are a few pictures of our trip to the Lottery Commission’s headquarters.
Here is the room where the numbers are picked for TV
This is the locked and sealed cabinet where the various sets of number balls are stored in between drawings.
NJGCA members Kashmir Gill and Roger Verma
I listen to NJ Lottery Executive Director Carole Hedinger while being blinded by the stage lights
I also want to talk about the state of the gasoline marketplace. Demand continues to be very weak nationwide, falling nearly 4% in the last month alone. This matches up pretty well with a trend I’ve noticed going back to at least 2007, in which average gas prices either drop off a little or stay level throughout the month of November and as the calendar year comes to an end. For the last 5 weeks the price of oil has consistently hovered between $85 and $90 a barrel and the average price of gas at the rack has been fairly flat, with only a gap of around 10 cents between the highest average price and the lowest average price. The average price on the last day of November was only three cents lower than the price on the first day.
Now when I was in the business, it was at this time of year that gas prices would rise as a result of all the traveling people were doing for the holidays, going to visit relatives or shopping for more stuff. Then come January and February the pumps and the repair shop would look like a scene out of a post-apocalypse movie. Then when March and April came around business and gas prices would pick up again as the weather got warmer and we got closer and closer to the summer driving season.
Unfortunately with the advent of speculation in the marketplace we no longer live in an economy where the price is determined solely by supply and demand, but what some people think supply and demand will be in the future. Prices start to increase earlier in the year because the speculators think (and hope) that demand will see significant increases in a few weeks or months due to warmer weather and perhaps even an international crisis. Typically, that demand has not shown up as the levels they speculated for, so prices start to come down in the months of the year when they used to jump. I expect this trend to continue into the New Year, and we will see prices start to increase between January and March (or sooner if there’s yet another crisis in the Middle East).
Finally, thank you all who wished me well on my belated honeymoon, my wife and I had a great time. Although, I don’t think I can agree it’s the Happiest Place on Earth. Frankly, for me the happiest place on Earth was where a few of my staff were the night I was eating airline food: a beefsteak dinner sponsored by Senator Cardinale. There’s no place better than somewhere that’s serving an unlimited supply of very rare animal flesh.
The REAL Happiest Place on Earth.
Thanks for reading – See you next week!
BUSINESSES FOR SALE!
Click on the picture below to see more details!
CLASSIFIEDS: FOR SALE & HELP WANTED!
After running an ad in the Road Warrior over the last month, NJGCA was able to assist a member in selling his equipment!
If you'd like to list equipment for sale, or have an open position you'd like to make other industry professionals aware of, please contact NJGCA at 973-376 -0066 and let us help you get the word out!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE: THE NEWS YOU SHOULD KNOW
State confirms six N.J. gas stations distributed aviation fuel
Six gas stations in the state received aviation fuel by mistake and sold it to motorists before the stations were shut down, the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced Wednesday. Gas stations in Keyport, North Plainfield, Trenton, Manasquan, Scotch Plains and Lawrenceville received 104.7-octane fuel, compared to the 93-octane fuel, which is used in super unleaded gasoline, according to a news release. Approximately eight tankers delivered the aviation fuel between Dec. 5 and Dec. 7.
Assemblyman introduces bill to rein in lottery privatization plan
A state assemblyman is trying to put the brakes on a Treasury Department plan to privatize part of the New Jersey Lottery. Assemblyman Vincent Prieto, D-Hudson, introduced a bill that would require legislative approval of any privatization contract before the agreement took effect. The bill comes a week after Prieto’s Assembly Budget Committee held a hearing into the privatization plan. Democrats on the committee said they were unhappy with what they saw as a lack of transparency, and they worried that the plan could hurt small businesses that depend on lottery ticket sales.
Democrat Barbara Buono running for governor in NJ
State Sen. Barbara Buono announced Tuesday she will seek the Democratic nomination for governor, accusing Republican Gov. Chris Christie of "trickle-down economics" that she said have stagnated economic growth in New Jersey and left the state with the highest jobless rate in three decades. Early polls have suggested all of them now lag well behind Christie, who considered a run for president a year ago, gave the keynote speech at this year's Republican National Convention and has seen his approval ratings soar for his handling of Superstorm Sandy. Buono, who is not widely known statewide, trailed Christie 60-22 in a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released last month. Christie said last month that he's seeking re-election.
Michigan governor signs 'right-to-work' bills
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, without ceremony, signed two so-called right-to-work measures that ban mandatory union dues in Michigan workplaces, making the state and union bastion the 24th state to enact such legislation, and the second this year after Indiana. The law is a practical and symbolic rout in a stronghold of organized labor in the United States, and opponents said it presaged political warfare.
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INTERESTED IN TAKING A CLASS WITH NJGCA?
CALL AND WE'LL SET IT UP FOR YOU!
PLEASE NOTE: FUTURE DATES WILL BE ADDED UPON REQUEST AND ACCORDING TO DEMAND. CONTACT DEBBIE at 973-376-0066 or DEBBIE@NJGCA.ORG TO LET HER KNOW YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TAKING A SPECIFIC CLASS. THIS WILL ALLOW US TO GAUGE YOUR NEEDS AND KEEP TRACK OF THOSE WISHING TO PARTICIPATE!!
MEMBER BENEFIT PARTNER MESSAGE
TMP Energy Solutions
Another Way to Save on Your Energy Bills
We have had a number of NJGCA members successfully reduce their rate per kWh signing up through our energy saving program. We know it’s difficult to collect 12 months worth of previous electric bills to get an “accurate” analysis when comparing a variable rate to a fixed rate, but we now have another option available.
This new solution is a power purchase option; the other program is still in full force and has saved members thousands of dollars. If you sign up for the power purchase option, you will be grouped with other NJGCA members until the minimum KW demand is acquired. By pooling the member’s usage together, you will be able to take advantage, as large energy users do, and receive a lower kWh rate.
Each member will receive their own contract. Each member is responsible to sign and return the agreement the day it is received in order to secure the price for their group.
Please do your due diligence, so when you receive the proposal and the agreement you will be able to make an intelligent decision.
If by chance, you still want us to assess you bills, to give you a price to compare, we will require12 months of your most recent utility bills.
There are no bills required, but we would still like to have one bill per meter on file to check account #’s, meter #’s service addresses and other pertinent information incase there is a problem.
The term of the agreement is for 12 months. During this term period, you will have price protection against any energy price increases along with a low fixed kWh rate.
If you are interested in becoming part of this power purchase option, please contact Greg Cannon at the NJGCA.
Remember when you sign up your energy through the NJGCA Energy Program, TMP makes a considerable donation to the NJGCA Scholarship Fund through their proceeds. This has no affect on your rate, and costs you nothing out of pocket.
We hope to help hundreds of NJGCA members reduce their utility costs by participating in this and our other cost reduction programs. Our purpose, in the endeavor, is to help NJGCA members lower their energy costs while supporting the NJGCA Scholarship Fund.
Contact GREG CANNON at 973-376-0066 or email Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention that you are interested in saving money on your energy bills. NJGCA & TMP Energy Solutions will handle all the rest.
POLITICAL PARTICIPATON: THE NJGCA PAC
DEFENDING OUR MEMBERS.
PROTECTING YOUR INTERESTS.
ANSWER THE CALL & CONTRIBUTE TODAY!!
Promoting our agenda in Trenton is of utmost importance to NJGCA and our members.
However, in order to truly affect the debate, we must ensure our friends in the Legislature are re-elected. It is for this reason that your Association has established the NJGCA PAC.
For too long, the weight of funding our Political Action Committee, the arm of the Association responsible for political donations, has rested upon a few. This is not only unfair to those few members who have shouldered this burden, but means we are not utilizing our full strength to affect the debate in Trenton.
To truly understand the importance of supporting our allies, consider our successes in Trenton:
We defeated BELOW COST SELLING
We made history in getting FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL signed into law!
We have built large support for RIGHT TO REPAIR and got it passed out of the Assembly
We defended your small business against the false accusations of Attorney General Anne Milgram
We gained wide support to move New Jersey to an all PIF Inspection System and close the CIF lanes
...and MUCH MORE!!
In each instance, we achieved these goals with the help of our friends in the Legislature!
If every member contributes just $100.00 we will be able to provide the help necessary to ensure victory for our allies.
PLEASE SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO:
66 Morris Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
Please make your donation payable to NJGCA PAC
I understand that times are tough for all NJGCA members, but this is just as important as any battle we have fought in the past.
We have made great progress in Trenton. I hope that you will answer the call.
THE MEMBER TOOL BOX
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NEWS AROUND THE STATE ARCHIVE
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