March 30, 2012
Dear NJGCA Member:
Here's what you'll find in this edition of the NJGCA Road Warrior, and thank you for reading:
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
•Energy Independence Summit, Healthcare on Trial
NEWS AROUND THE STATE
•Nuclear Power: Is fusion possible?
•A case for hydrogen: The fuel of tomorrow?
•Despite opposition, lawmakers push to merge Rowan and Rutgers-Camden
•NJ boasts lowest risk of corruption
TRAINING CLASS SCHEDULE
•Interested taking a class? Call us today!
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!
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM BELLOMO FUELS
•Serving New Jersey since 1910 -- Over 100 years of supplying gasoline retailers like YOU!
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
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
ENERGY INDEPENDENCE SUMMIT
PAY ATTENTION EVEN IF YOU ONLY SERVICE AUTOMOBILES!
HEALTHCARE ON TRIAL
My wife is really upset with me. Lately it seems as though every other week I’m travelling to one place or another to attend a meeting or conference. I have been gone all week and spending more and more time away from home and office. For those of you waiting for me to get back to you please be patient as I have another crazy schedule next week too.
Thankfully, this week my travels were closer to home and did not require any plane rides, as I headed down to Washington D.C. for the 2012 Energy Independence Summit. Unlike my trip a few weeks back to Florida, in which I had to fly down to attend the 2012 Renewable Fuels Association Conference, this time I was lucky -- all I had to do was drive south!
For those of you who know me, you know I'm not a big fan of exercise. The organizers of the Energy Independence Summit were kind enough to arrange eight meetings on Tuesday; one each with six NJ Congressmen and the other with our two U.S. Senators. This required A LOT of walking between congressional offices. There’s a very definite reason they call it Capitol Hill – and it’s not because the area is flat. I have spent much time on Capitol Hill over the past 25 years, but somehow I forgot just how hilly the terrain is….actually I probably never noticed it because I was younger and better able to manage the walking. I surrendered and finally took a taxi.
With this being a Presidential election year, you can imagine that the issue of gasoline prices was a major topic of conversation in the halls of the Capitol Building. More directly, they’re all wondering how current conditions in the energy market will hurt, hinder, or help their respective elections.
On Capitol Hill: Clean Cities Coalition Chairman, Chuck Feinberg (L), with NJGCA Executive Director, Sal Risalvato (R).
Chuck Feinberg, our ally from the Clean Cities Coalition, also attended the conference with me and led the NJ contingent. As we met with legislators and federal officials, I couldn’t help but continue to think about our members and your customers. No matter how high-minded the conversations were and no matter what ‘solution’ policy makers eventually agree on, the only thing on my mind was that you (and your patrons) will always be the dangling worm clinging to the hook at the end of the supply chain.
Today, we have no control over events in the market and we’re as vulnerable as ever to these forces. Despite how high gas prices climb, we’re merely passing along those increases and decreases as they happen, always lacking the tools necessary to shield ourselves from harm.
That paradigm has to change, or we’ll forever be the puppets dancing to the market’s maniacal melody!
That thought, obviously, brings me back to the purpose of my trip to Washington. By now of course, you’ve naturally gotten sick of hearing me talk about alternative fuels and tomorrow’s market. Yet if this trip has shown me anything, it’s that there is a big future ahead for alternatives and their place in the market despite what some experts say.
Let me repeat what you have heard from me in the past: Stop thinking as if you are in the gasoline and diesel fuel business; rather begin thinking as if you are in the Transportation Energy Business! This means you folks that service and repair cars too. Electric Vehicles will require service. Natural Gas Vehicles will require service, and Ethanol fueled vehicles will require service.
Yes, there’s certainly a lot of hype and rhetoric out there in the news and on the radio telling us that electric cars are dead and bio-fuels are too expensive, but that’s misleading. Talking to policy makers and industry insiders, however, you get an altogether different picture. Electric cars are here, the investment in their technology is growing, and they are emerging on the market as a viable choice for consumers. Every car that fuels up with electricity is a vehicle that won’t be buying gasoline from you!
One summit speaker was Dannel Mallory, the Governor of Connecticut, who spoke on the aggressive approach he's taking with both compressed natural gas (CNG) and electric vehicles for state fleets. The Governor is also pushing for businesses to start converting their fleets to CNG over the longer term. I also got to speak with charging station/CNG refueling station manufacturers who produce the required equipment. Together, they all hope to create enough interest in these mediums to develop an alternative fuels corridor from Maine to D.C.
Of course, in addition to hearing me talk about this the last few years, the last few weeks I've been telling you to look out for a workshop that all of you will be invited to. Chuck Feinberg and other allies will be there to help demonstrate and inform you why alternatives make sense for retailers. The details are still being worked out, but right now it looks as thought we may host this event on the May 3rd in the Trenton area. Things aren’t yet set in stone, so just hold the date and wait for details!
This workshop promises to help you get a taste of what’s out there and how it could help your small business, especially as overall gasoline volume declines. The most promising of these is CNG – and why shouldn’t it be? It costs half of what gasoline costs, has lower emissions, and can run in a car with very little alternations. Those are all huge incentives for people to use natural gas, especially businesses with fleets of cars and trucks in service vehicles. What's in it for you? A thicker profit margin of roughly 30 to 50 cents a gallon, that’s what!
Other than gas prices, the topic that has been dominating the national political scene has been the Supreme Court hearings about the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. The Supreme Court dedicated three days worth of arguments to the decision, the most time spent on a case in decades. The outcome will be the biggest decision since Bush v. Gore. 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) are suing the Obama Administration. The heart of the case is the individual mandate, which forces every American to either purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. The opponents of the law argue that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to require every person to purchase a product simply because they are alive. Those in favor of the mandate say the government should be able to require people to buy health insurance because the healthcare market is unique and everyone will have to engage in it anyway. The opponents say that if the government is given the power to mandate everyone buy health insurance, there will be almost no limits on what Congress can require people buy. For example, maybe the government will decide that everyone needs to buy broccoli in order to be healthier, or buy a cell phone in order to call an ambulance if there’s an emergency. The Court is not expected to render its final decision for several months. Based on the types of questions the justices asked, people are now predicting the Court will find the mandate unconstitutional by a 5-4 vote, with swing justice Anthony Kennedy siding with the 4 conservative justices against the 4 liberal justices. The second part of the decision though is the one that will have the most effect on your business. If the Court does decide to throw out the mandate, they must also decide whether they will throw out the rest of the healthcare law too. They devoted two hours to listening to arguments on whether the rest of the law can stand without the individual mandate attached. It is much less clear how the justices would vote on that provision, but it will likely be a close vote. We will keep you updated on the situation and its effect on your business.
For the Policy Patrol this week, I’d like to praise a common sense piece of legislation that was introduced in January. S-1671/A-2549 would prevent employees from receiving workers’ compensation benefits if they were intoxicated during the time of injury. The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that workers’ comp can only be denied if it can be proven that intoxication was the only reason for the injury. This proposal would say that being intoxicated while on the job is enough to deny someone benefits if they are injured. The bill is sponsored by Senator Chris Connors (R-Ocean), Sen. Bob Singer (R-Ocean), Assemblyman Brian Rumpf (R-Ocean), and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove (R-Ocean). From the Manure Pile is yet another waste of time and paper, S-299, which allows for a county’s Board of Chosen Freeholders to change its title from Freeholder to County Commissioner. After two hundred years of getting used to it, is now really the time to worry about changing their title? By the way, if you’re like most residents of the state and don’t know what a Freeholder is, they’re the people who govern the county. Imagine the costs to taxpayers if these titles are changed. Printing costs and documents and signs etc. WastefulThanks for listening – See you next week.
NEWS AROUND THE STATE
Nuclear Power: Is fusion possible?
Nuclear fusion may soon be possible, creating an abundant and clean source of energy. In a fusion process, subatomic particles collide to create heavier elements. The result, under the right conditions, will release huge amounts of energy that can be harnessed. Scientists are currently working on real-world tests using magnetic fields to contain superheated plasma in hopes of created a sustained reaction. Click above to read more.
A case for hydrogen: The fuel of tomorrow?
As scientists and policymakers continue to debate how to tackle our future energy needs, many researchers are continuing to tout hydrogen as the best solution for growing energy demands. Despite this, the federal government has cut available funding for hydrogen research. Why? Click on the link above to read more.
Despite opposition, lawmakers push to merge Rowan and Rutgers-Camden
The Governor’s plan to merge Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University to create a new research institution in southern New Jersey has faced tough criticism. While some tout the idea as a way to attract federal and corporate research dollars to the area, others have been vocally opposed to seeing such a merger completed. Click above to read more on this subject and consider how it may affect New Jersey.
NJ boasts lowest risk of corruption
A recent report by the Center for Public Integrity has placed New Jersey as the state with the lowest risk of public corruption. Long seen as among the most corrupt states in the union, the reversal comes after laws enacted after 2005 began to repair the state’s tainted past have helped thwart new offenses. Click above to read the full story.
-ALL CLASSES WILL BE HELD AT NJGCA HEADQUARTERS-
66 Morris Avenue - Springfield, NJ 07081 (Union County)
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 Phil Apruzzi 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 Phil Apruzzi at 973-376-0066 or email Phil 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.
To truly understand the importance of supporting our allies, consider our successes in Trenton:
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.
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
ON THE NJGCA HOMEPAGE
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NEWS AROUND THE STATE ARCHIVE
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