June 22, 2012
Dear NJGCA Member:
Thank you for reading this week's NJGCA Road Warrior!
Here's what you'll find in this edition:
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
•E15 Update, State Budget Passage, Profit Margins, CNG Event, and More!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE
•Assembly passes ban on treating ‘fracking’ waste
•CNG stations coming to New Jersey, will service fleet customers
•Older cars staying on the road longer as motorists watch their wallets
•Education Reform: School districts explore longer school days
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!
STATE BUDGET PASSAGE,
Earlier this week, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put their final stamp of approval on a plan to allow the retail sale of E15 biofuel.
As we’ve previously reported, the EPA has been studying the affects that an additional 5-percent blend of ethanol would have on motor vehicles. The conclusion seems to be what was already known month ago: E15 pump fuel is safe for vehicles produced after 2001. Any vehicle produced before 2001 is not officially approved to use this blend.
How does this impact you? The logistics involved in implementing E15 at retail locations will take some time. They still need to figure out regulations, what kind of geographical areas will ramp up production first, and all associated details that still need to be worked out. Then of course, the EPA still has to worry about Congressional action to halt E15 use and state regulatory issues that may arise.
So the short answer is: This won’t affect you at all – for right now.
However, just as with anything else, sometimes events take on a life of their own. While there are no suppliers delivering it or marketing it, once all the details are sorted out, E15 can easily be trucked to any location, right from the rack. And as it becomes more prevalent and its popularity grows, demand will certainly spread to new markets.
One factor that will contribute to the wide-acceptance of E15 is the fuel’s adoption by big-box retailers. That’s because E15 has the potential of being a profitable product. As such, we can anticipate suppliers and distributors speeding up the introduction of E15 because it has an inherent price advantage. Businesses will always be attracted to more-profitable products; once that becomes obvious to suppliers, it won’t be long before we’ll see E15 for sale in New Jersey.
My best guess tells me it will be at least 2 years before we see E15 spread throughout the Garden State. Of course, I could be wrong, but that’s what my crystal ball is telling me. Between now and then, details like appropriate pump stickers and procedural issues will become clearer.
While I have been (and continue to be) a big advocate of biofuels such as ethanol, I was opposed to the adoption of E15 as a motor fuel for liability reasons. Though it will be a slow transition to the new blend, mis-fueling mistakes do happen! What if one of your employees dispenses the wrong type of gasoline? Are you on the hook?
Another factor to keep in mind with all of this is your meter calibration. The more ethanol in motor fuel and the higher the number of gallons you pump, the more likely it is that your pump will be out of tolerance. As we know, calibration is a critical facet of maintaining your station. If your pumps are out of whack, and the corrosive properties of ethanol are damaging your pumps, you could be giving away gasoline or shortchanging your customers – Keep that in mind!
Of course, not everything that is approved by government gets executed rationally. Take, for example, the issue of operator training. Many members have called in a panic to tell me new rules are supposed to go into affect in August. Though I’ve known about the August deadline since 2008, many of you aren’t aware of all that’s been brewing over them the last few years. Yes, the federal government is mandating an August deadline; but the state of New Jersey is WAY BEHIND in getting it done. NJDEP has assured me that there will be NO enforcement of the deadline since they have not yet submitted an implementation plan to the EPA. As such, they cannot enforce what they themselves have not adapted.
I anticipate that NJDEP will finally submit their operator training plan sometime late this year. Thereafter, the EPA will sign off or change NJDEP’s plan as needed. All in all, it won’t go into affect until sometime in 2013 or 2014.
Bottom Line: DO NOT PANIC. For once, the bureaucratic headaches inherent in all governments may actually work in your favor. As I learn more, and there is concrete information to convey, I will give you plenty of notice so you can get started. And once that happens, don’t sweat over it. The process is a bit inconvenient, but it’s not going to be as costly or cumbersome as you think.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been updating you on the battle raging in Trenton over the state budget. Our latest information tells us that we could have a budget agreed to and passed as early as Monday. While it’s still not a done-deal, and lots of things can go wrong between now and then, we’ll be sure to update you as events unfold.
Still, it’s important to remember that the budget process brings along with it some good news: The leadership in each house of the Legislature and the Governor are talking about what taxes to CUT and not what taxes to INCREASE! No matter how interested you are in politics, that’s good news! More money in the hands of residents will mean consumers will have funds in which to patronize your establishment. That’s good news for everyone!
The retail market continues to slide as the price of gasoline falls. As we stated the last few weeks, you should be grabbing additional margin to make up for the months-at-a-stretch where you didn’t make any profit at all! I know you’re a competitor and your instinct is to immediately slug it out with the guy down the street. But trust me when I tell you that it’s better to stay profitable and keep those doors open than rack up debts and go out of business!
The current market reality is reflective of what I’ve always said: The best remedy for high gas prices is high gas prices. What’s more, the evidence backs me up. The price of crude dropped by $2.00 a barrel on Wednesday. Crude, refined gasoline, and diesel fuel inventories are up even as motor fuel consumption is down. In fact, you can now find some wholesale prices from the rack – including taxes and delivery fees – that are below $3.00 a gallon.
The experts out there will tell you that this is due to a number of reasons, but a few have remained consistent: Motorists’ driving habits have changed, the domestic economy has never gained back its earlier strength; consumer confidence remains low; the use of public transportation is up; and the affect of alternative fuels is being felt in the marketplace.
Though alternative fuels are not created equal, they are all equally enticing to motorists depending on their particular circumstances. So while the benefits of an electric vehicle may not fit your particular needs, perhaps the advantages of a biodiesel-powered car will. To highlight this point, our friends at the New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition (NJCCC) and NJGCA will be co-hosting an event on July 12th to present the advantages of another alternative: natural gas. Earlier this week, we sent out two reminders on this event. If you haven’t seen it yet, CLICK HERE to review the latest message.
It is very important that you attend this event. Not only is it vital to the future of your small business, but it is especially important to me personally. I remember all too vividly the burdens of running my shop. I can still feel the strain of making sure bills were paid, payroll was covered, and all the little stresses that consumed my work day. While it was incredibly rewarding, it was also unbelievably overwhelming. I’m sure you have had similar sentiments; you may feel that way even as you read this message.
Now if I could tell you that there was a way to transform your business, to make it more profitable while attracting new customers, wouldn’t you be interested? That’s what I’m trying to underline here. The alternative fuels market – and natural gas in particular – hold an abundance of promise for small business owners, the environment, and motorists. It is my hope that you will embrace that opportunity and realize new possibilities for your business!
But first, you have to get educated to see the advantages for yourself! Again, CLICK HERE to read the latest Events & Announcements message, follow the instructions, and sign up for the Natural Gas Vehicles workshop NOW!
For the Policy Patrol this week I wanted to throw a spotlight on an issue that I have been involved in for years now: education reform. Whether you realize it or not, the quality of our state’ public education system has a tremendous effect on your business. You’ve probably all had to deal with employees who had passed through our schools and yet were unable to perform the basic math skills necessary to make change for a customer. When I had my station, I got so frustrated that I literally drove a young employee down to the school so I could personally complain to the principal about the quality of education he received. Not only that, but around 75% of that giant property tax bill you pay is devoted to the schools in your town, as well as a hefty slice of the taxes you pay the state. If I’m gonna pay for someone’s education, I certainly want my money’s worth! I recently wrote an article about this subject which you can read by CLICKING HERE.
Yesterday, the New Jersey state Senate finally managed to pass some form of long overdue education reform. S-1455 is the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act, sponsored by Senator Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex). Unfortunately, this proposal has been somewhat watered down. Originally advocates were pushing to end the system of ‘last in first out’ which means that if teachers have to be laid off the only factor that would matter was how long they had worked there, which often meant the best, most energetic teachers who were newly hired were losing their jobs while less skilled teachers were getting to stay simply because they had an extra year or two of seniority. This bill does however provide the first changes to the state’s tenure system in a century. It will increase the number of years needed to gain tenure to 4 and will grade teachers on a 4 point scale. If a teacher is rated as ineffective for 2 years in a row, they may lose their tenure, a decision that will be made in a matter of months instead of years. Though teachers aren’t the only reason for poor student performance, bringing about these reforms (which are common sense in the private sector) is a step in the right direction.
In the Manure Pile is more help from the nanny state in the form of A-2874. This bill is designed to help the poor, innocent consumer by stating that the label which must be present on any sofa or mattress that is being sold secondhand has to be the color yellow, for ‘easy’ identification. Bear in mind it’s already law that any used sofa or mattress is already required to have an identification label on it; this bill merely requires the label to be the color yellow. Do they really think people are that stupid that we need this to become law?
Thanks for listening – See you next week.
NEWS AROUND THE STATE
Assembly passes ban on treating ‘fracking’ waste
A new bill passed by the General Assembly would ban companies doing business in New Jersey from treating waste created from hydraulic fracturing. The process, which frees underground natural gas deposits and is more commonly known as fracking, creates waste water and other byproducts. Currently the state has no rules for treating or accepting fracking waste.
CNG stations coming to New Jersey, will service fleet customers
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved a year-long pilot program that will see a series of CNG refueling stations built throughout the state. The plan calls for five to seven locations to be established and will service primarily business-fleet customers. Click on the link above for full details.
Older cars staying on the road longer as motorists watch their wallets
As the price of gasoline remains high and harsh economic conditions force motorists to reevaluate their priorities, many drivers are holding onto older vehicles for longer amounts of time to save money and financial resources. As a result, the average age of vehicles on the road has risen to 11 years old. What’s more, approximately one-fifth of motorists are driving a vehicle 15 years old or older, an increase of six-percent from five years ago. The news underscores a growing trend among consumers and presents an opportunity for automotive repair shops to serve the needs of their customers in maintaining their vehicles in good running order. Click above to read the full article.
Education Reform: School districts explore longer school days
A new proposal passed by the Assembly Education Committee could permit 25 school districts to add more days to the school year and additional hours to the school day. Supporters of the bill state that the current school calendar is outdated and that a longer school year and school day will help students from falling between the cracks. Funding for the pilot program would be provided by corporations, which would receive a tax credit for their donations. Click above to read the full article.
-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. ?
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