Road Warrior Newsletter

May 23, 2008


Dear NJGCA Member:


And I mean it too.  The higher the price, the more your business is in jeopardy.

It is well established that high pump prices = smaller margins for gasoline retailers.

High prices at the pump are driving down the demand for gasoline and affecting driving behavior.  Recent media accounts have reported that motorists are “planning” their excursions; trying to pack more into a single route so they can conserve gas.

Click HERE to read a recent article on this trend.

That may sound wonderful to hard-core environmentalists, but your business depends on commuters to survive, and this can be the kiss of death.

Less driving means less wear of tires, brakes, and engines. That translates into less frequent trips to your repair shop.  Fewer customers on the road mean fewer stops for coffee, cigarettes, and buttered rolls at your convenience store.

But you don’t have to be a member to see how high gasoline prices affect everything.  The ripple effect is exponential.

You can and will survive this-you have to.

It is impossible for you to sell gas at razor thin margins when a load of gas costs $34,000.  No other business in the world operates on such a small margin. As a matter of survival you must raise your price and achieve a fair profit.  You also must implement Cash/Credit pricing.

Cash/Credit is way for you to pass on high credit card costs while saving your customers money.  You can no longer shoulder this burden.  I am begging you to implement this pricing structure immediately.

Sadly I am told retailers are using deceptive practices to gain an advantage over competitors and pull the wool over customer’s eyes.  I cannot and will not stand with any retailer that tries to gain unfair advantage over another.  It is rough out there for everyone.  I will always choose to protect an honest member from being harmed by an unscrupulous competitor.

I am thankful that the creeps that have been brought to my attention are not NJGCA members.  However, their actions have damaged all of you honest folks.

Weights and Measures have been very reasonable and have tried to cooperate with dealers that may have improperly displayed price signs.  I thank them for that.  However; consumer complaints are piling up and Weights and Measures will begin more punitive enforcement.

To view instructions and an illustration for the proper way to display Cash/Credit signs please click HERE.   We have helped many of you over the phones that have had signing questions. Please feel free to call me.

I am also very concerned about our members that operate convenience stores.  I wrote last week alerting you of stupid legislation that was introduced in the Assembly that will turn your gasoline convenience store into a bottle and can recycling depository.  I will keep you updated, but please be prepared to contact your legislators.

Fortunately, Trenton’s desire to turn your convenience store into a recycling center may gain opposition from an unusual source: municipalities.  It seems that in their haste to appease environmental extremists and throw common sense out the window, lawmakers forgot that when towns collect your curb-side recyclables they earn cash that helps reduce property taxes.  Since the State is slashing municipal aid, I suspect that New Jersey’s 566 towns may not look too kindly on having this revenue source dry up.

Trenton needs to think this one through before they inconvenience customers, convenience store owners, AND local governments.

Thanks for reading.  See you next week!


Sal Risalvato
Executive Director


Capitol Hill Update

•Close the Enron Loophole Act passes, seeks final approval


•”Sting Cars” looking for new violations!
•Beware of Hybrids


•Messy Fuel Delivery: Has this happened to you?


•Opinion: Bottle deposit system a scheme
NJGCA in the News: Risalvato, Members defend cash/credit pricing
•Budget Watch: Governor unveils early retirement package
•Guv’s approval rating sinking – fast!

Capitol Hill Update

Last week, “the Close the Enron Loophole Act” was passed by Congress.

The bill seeks to marginalize the effects of speculators on energy prices and bring transparency to oil trading markets.

Passed as part of a larger $300 Billion farm subsidy bill, the legislation was vetoed on Wednesday by President Bush who claimed the cost was too high a burden on taxpayers.  Nevertheless, it is widely expected that the bill will be overwhelming overridden by Congress next week and enacted into law.

Ultimately, the measure will grant the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority to regulate electronic trading on the Intercontinental Exchange.

This is good news for consumers and small business owners as the end result will prevent Wall Street traders from driving up crude oil prices based on speculation rather than supply & demand economics.

NJGCA strongly supported this legislation and applaud our friends at the Fuel Merchant’s Association of New Jersey who lead the charge to raise awareness of the proposal.

To read more about the Close the Enron Loophole Act, click HERE



Sting cars are making the rounds to catch NJGCA members not following established motor vehicle inspection protocols.

This isn’t news, but it doesn’t mean you cannot learn from the mistakes of other NJGCA Members who received citations.

If a vehicle is model year 2003 or newer, one thing to be aware of when performing the inspection is to first check if it is CAN equipped.  CAN (Controller Area Network) is a faster computer interface that is not accessible on current New Jersey PIF machines.  Hence we have to use a handheld communication device to communicate with a vehicle’s onboard computer system.  If a vehicle is listed on the CAN compliant list, then connect the vehicle to a handheld scanner to verify OBDII CAN results.  Some members are now facing violations simply for not checking to make sure if the vehicle is or is not CAN compliant.

To assist you, NJGCA has provided reference tools to help you avoid these costly fines:

Click HERE to read the accepted protocol on testing CAN equipped vehicles.

To review a list of all known CAN equipped cars, click HERE

Also check out for further information.

All these links may also be found on the NJGCA home page at


A quick reminder: A recent Vehicle Inspection Database (VID) message warns inspectors to remember to enter all hybrid vehicles into the emissions analyzer as “electric gas hybrid” or ELEG.  Once this is completed, the vehicle should be inspected for “Safety Only” and no emissions test should be performed.

With vehicles like the Ford Escape Hybrid, Toyota Prius Hybrid, and others selling in record numbers, this becomes even more important as these vehicles increase in popularity.


…From this week.  An NJGCA Member took this shot during his latest tanker delivery.  See anything wrong? 

Members are continuously getting slapped by DEP and Weights & Measures over any number of violations, some of which we cannot control.  These pictures clearly illustrate such a scenario in which a 3rd party is responsible for the environmental impact, but service station owners are left holding the bag.  Please let us know if you have experience similar difficulty.  Keep a camera handy and send photos to NJGCA so that we can notify other members – and the authorities.


Opinion: Bottle deposit system a scheme
Citing soaring food prices and possible abuses, a recent op-ed rejected the notion of implementing a bottle deposit/refund program in New Jersey.  The author believes the state is underestimating the inconvenience this would place on consumers and seeks to benefit from un- collected refunds.

NJGCA in the News: Risalvato & Members defend cash/credit pricing
Executive Director Sal Risalvato, and NJGCA members Eel Chang and Bruce Greenwood, spoke with the Times of Trenton regarding cash/credit pricing and possible obstacles to dual-pricing

Budget Watch: Governor unveils early retirement package
In an attempt to reduce the size of government and save millions in taxpayer funds, Governor Corzine released the details of his retirement package plan to state workers.  The measure still faces scrutiny from state worker unions and the Legislature. 

Guv’s approval rating sinking – fast!
Over 60% of New Jersey residents now disapprove of Governor Corzine’s handling of state finances, according to a recent Record Poll.  The poll comes just as the Legislature is expected to approval a budget by the end of June.


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serve the motorist