SIGMA Advocacy

Advocacy Network

A voice for you on all legislative and regulatory issues affecting our industry

You are part of a growing number of independent fuel marketers who are participating in political engagement and advocacy activities on behalf of SIGMA and our industry.

As the primary voice of independent marketers, SIGMA and its Counsel have been at the forefront of every major regulatory and legislative battle of interest to fuel marketers for over thirty years.

Your involvement is critical as SIGMA works to further the interests of our industry while serving as a source of information for the Federal Government. SIGMA lobbies on behalf of its members at the federal level on legislative and regulatory matters. However, the best advocates for the industry will always be those operating within the industry.

Therefore, SIGMA needs you to engage and build relationships with your elected leaders to educate and advocate on behalf of specific company needs, as well as the industry as a whole.

SIGMA advocates for its members on all legislative and regulatory issues that have an impact on transportation fuel supply and distribution. SIGMA has testified before Congress and federal agencies on numerous occasions on the impact of federal regulations on supply, distribution, and costs. In addition, SIGMA hosts an annual Summer Legislative Meeting and Day on Capitol Hill. These meetings help to advance SIGMA’s Congressional relationships and increase the visibility and awareness of fuel issues.

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SIGMA provides the tools our members need to keep their competitive advantage in the marketplace. These resources include documents, archived meeting presentations, and connections to the best and brightest in the industry – the SIGMA members.  Many of these are for members only – you must be logged in to have access.  

Recognition Levels
Chairman’s Club
President’s Club
$2,500 – $4,999
Premier Club
$1,000 – $2,499
$100 – $999

*The amounts above are only suggestions.  SIGMAPAC will gladly accept contributions of any amount.

Clean Fuel Policies and Incentives


Charging Infrastructure: As electric vehicles (EVs) enter the market, an electric charging infrastructure will be created to provide alternative fuel options to motorists. SIGMA members offer convenient real estate locations and the services, amenities, and security that consumers have come to expect alongside the refueling network. The most effective way for policymakers to prompt investment in EV charging stations is to establish policies that will incentivize the existing refueling network to incorporate fast EV charging into their suite of fueling options.

Utility companies, however, are seeking approval from state public utility commissions to install EV charging stations and treat their capital investments as part of the utility rate base, effectively creating a monopoly on EV charging stations paid for by all electric power consumers. Furthermore, Direct Current (DC) fast charging station owners today are forced to pay retail prices and demand charges for electricity, greatly undermining a business case for the investments. If public utilities are allowed to install EV charging stations and charge electricity rates at a cost with which the private market cannot compete, SIGMA members will be placed at a disadvantage when investing in the alternative fuel marketplace. If these obstacles are removed, however, a convenient refueling network will grow alongside consumer adoption of EVs.

Transportation energy consumers benefit from the highly transparent, competitive and well-established liquid fuels marketplace. This market structure has resulted in reliable product availability sold at competitive prices to the consumer. As more fuel options enter the marketplace, such as new alternative fuels and battery power, SIGMA seeks a market-driven approach to encouraging further investment in those options. SIGMA members believe the American consumer benefits when transportation energy sources are available on a competitive and level playing field without government preference for one solution over another.

Ultimately, SIGMA members want to be able to sell legal products in a lawful manner to customers who want to purchase them. SIGMA opposes granting a de facto monopoly on the provision of refueling services, which will undercut the competitive nature of the refueling marketplace, ultimately harming consumers. SIGMA seeks to ensure that any financial incentives for installing EV charging infrastructure allow private businesses to compete for funds and that those incentives do not favor utilities that get subsidies from all of their ratepayers to install EV charging infrastructure.

EVs and the Highway Trust Fund (HTF): The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is funded primarily by the 18.4 cents/gallon motor fuel excise tax and 24.3 cents/gallon diesel excise tax, which are paid by motorists when they purchase fuel. The HTF is used to fund investments in U.S. infrastructure, such as highways and bridges. Owners of EVs, however, do not pay these taxes (and hybrid owners only pay a percentage), despite using the roads in the same manner as gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. SIGMA supports long-term, sustainable funding for federal highway programs, even if such funding requires raising the federal motor fuel excise tax. All vehicles that use the roads should pay their share of infrastructure costs.

Incentive Programs: Policymakers have enacted, and continue to consider, programs that support investment in EVs, alternative fuels, and strategies to decrease petroleum use or increase fuel economy. In an effort to incentivize the purchase of EVs, the federal government has offered a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for EVs purchased from a qualifying manufacturer. Studies have shown that the bulk of the credits are received by upper-income Americans, despite being funded by all taxpayers. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law in 2021, includes billions in new federal investments to build out a nationwide network of EV chargers. States have begun accepting applications from retailers for federal EV charging grant funds, and are expected to begin awarding some of the grants in 2023.

SIGMA supports incentives that encourage private investment in EV charging infrastructure. SIGMA opposes EV mandates and preferential treatment for EVs that are untethered to the technology’s environmental attributes. Different fueling technologies should be able to compete on a level playing field using an unbiased analysis of environmental impacts. SIGMA favors Congress preempting state laws that regulate any entity that resells electricity to consumers as a utility.

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Bans: There is a growing movement among states to ban the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles, an aspirational policy to push the fleet to electrification. While the federal government is unlikely to outright ban ICE vehicles, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation have proposed stringent fuel economy regulations that many analysts believe could ultimately result in a de facto ICE ban.  SIGMA opposes policies that ban ICE vehicles and mandate certain numbers of EVs. Instead, SIGMA supports market incentives that follow fair and complete analyses of the carbon consequences of different vehicles to avoid negative economic and energy security outcomes that can arise from centrally planned technology bans or mandates.


The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was first enacted in 2005, and was later expanded in 2007. The RFS was intended to displace traditional petroleum-based fuels derived from unstable geographic regions of the world with renewable substitutes that would achieve environmental benefits and diversify supply. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets annual blending requirements that establish the amount of biofuel that must be blended into the nation’s fuel supply. Obligated parties (refiners, importers, etc.) must demonstrate their RFS compliance to EPA by retiring sufficient renewable identification numbers (RINs) to satisfy their blending obligations, which are based on the quantity of motor fuel they produce or import in a given year. When the RFS was enacted, Congress believed that fuel demand would increase over time and that biofuels, particularly cellulosic and advanced biofuels (as opposed to corn-based ethanol), would enter the market within the first few years of the program. Neither of those assumptions have held true.

Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs): The RFS program requires EPA to establish Renewable Volume Obligations each calendar year by November 30 for volumes in the following year. SIGMA’s members sell approximately 80 billion gallons of motor fuel each year. The integration and regulation of renewable fuels into the motor fuels marketplace presents a number of opportunities and legal challenges for fuel marketers and retailers. As Congress and the regulatory agencies consider renewable fuels issues, it is important for them to consider SIGMA’s experience and knowledge of the marketplace. 

eRINs: EPA has the authority to write regulations initiating Electric Renewable Identification Numbers (eRINs) as a qualified pathway under the RFS. In 2022, EPA proposed a framework for how eRINs would be permitted under the RFS. The proposal would allow automakers to generate a RIN when electricity is produced from qualifying renewable biomass. SIGMA strongly opposes EPA’s proposed approach on eRINs, which would allow only automakers to generate the credits. The RFS has worked to bring more biofuels to market by incentivizing retailers to invest in equipment that makes the use of those biofuels profitable for the retailer, and sold at a lower cost to the consumer. eRINs have the potential to do the same for the development of widespread EV charging structure. EPA’s proposal, however, will not incentivize investment in charging infrastructure, nor will it lower the cost of electricity sold to EV consumers.

SET Rulemaking Process: EPA issued its proposed RVOs for 2023, 2024, and 2025 under the RFS at the end of 2022. This was the first time EPA had the statutory authority to propose a multi-year RVO.


Policymakers have utilized energy tax credits to incentivize the use of alternative fuels and displace petroleum-based products. These include tax incentives such as the “30C” tax credit for EV charging infrastructure, the $0.50/gallon alternative fuel tax credit (AFTC) (for CNG and RNG, among other things) and the $1.00/gallon biodiesel blenders’ tax credit. Fuel retailers have demonstrated in recent years that they are prepared to invest in any transportation energy technology that their customers desire. As Congress considers more ways to incentivize third party investment in alternative fuels, it is critical that incentives for alternative fuels are tech-neutral and allow fuel retailers to compete on a level playing field. The Inflation Reduction Act, enacted into law in August 2022, extended the AFTC, 30C, and Biodiesel Tax Credit. As of January 2023, however, the tax credit for sustainable aviation fuel will be higher than the credit for renewable diesel. This disparate treatment will cause feedstock migration from renewable diesel production to sustainable aviation fuel and therefore raise prices for fuel and all goods transported by truck without any new environmental benefits.

SIGMA is conceptually comfortable with a technology-neutral transportation fuel tax credit that is dependent upon the emissions characteristics of specific fuels (assessed on a production-plant-by-production-plant basis). Any tax credit for clean fuels, however, must be truly technology-neutral and ensure parity between all alternative transportation fuels that compete for the same feedstock, including sustainable aviation fuel.

Climate Change Proposals

Public concern for the environment and climate change has pushed lawmakers to consider proposals that would reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels, decrease carbon emissions, and promote environmental improvements in energy consumption, particularly transportation energy. The Biden Administration and many in Congress have targeted a ‘Net-Zero by 2050’ goal—an effort to reach overall net-zero emissions of carbon by the year 2050. In addition to the sweeping Democratic climate and tax bill enacted into law in August 2022, concepts that could be deployed to achieve that goal include: 

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG): A growing number of investors see global climate change as an investment risk that needs to be accounted for in their decision-making. They are, therefore, incorporating ESG factors into their risk analyses. These factors can include climate change, carbon emissions, resource scarcity, and pollution. Consideration of these issues is not new, but ESG analysis is now an essential component of financial analysis used by the world’s biggest investors. Better data and analytics are making ESG analysis more commonplace, and the practice is seeing growing support by both the private sector and policymakers like the United Nations. If policymakers in the U.S. look to incorporate ESG in statutory or regulatory requirements under the securities or banking laws, marketers could be negatively impacted when they need capital to operate or expand their businesses.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a proposal which would require public companies to disclose the risks from climate change that are reasonably likely to have material impacts on their businesses or financial condition. The Proposal argues that existing disclosures are inadequate, and that greater consistency, comparability, and reliability is needed.

The General Services Administration has also issued a proposed rule that would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require certain U.S. government contractors to disclose their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate-related financial risk.

Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS): A Low Carbon Fuel Standard is a market-based program designed to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of transportation fuels over time. All types of transportation fuel brought into the fuel system are measured against this standard. Fuels with CIs below the benchmark generate credits, and fuels above the benchmark result in deficits. Regulated parties, such as refiners, petroleum importers, and wholesalers, must then stay in compliance by offsetting deficits accrued with credits from blending lower carbon-intensity fuels or purchasing credits. Currently, California and Oregon have LCFS programs and other states are considering similar proposals. The federal Renewable Fuel Standard has elements similar to LCFS programs, but differs in that it mandates a particular quantity of biofuel, and also because it does not have “gradation” in crediting where a fuel’s value is enhanced as its carbon-reduction attributes are enhanced.


Transportation Policy

Rest Area Commercialization: Off highway communities – which rely on the motoring public for survival – derive much of their commercial activity and tax revenue from healthy off-highway businesses, like those of SIGMA’s members. The ban on rest area commercialization has been critical to the livelihood of businesses that are located near the highway and the communities that depend on their tax dollars. SIGMA opposes rest area commercialization as the ban on such activities has been critical to the livelihood of businesses that are located near the highway and the communities that depend on their tax dollars. SIGMA members have made substantial business decisions relying on the prohibition on rest area commercialization. Overturning the ban would result in commercial activity being diverted from off-highway communities to on-Interstate locations, killing off-highway business, and taking needed tax revenue from localities.

Tolling: SIGMA opposes tolling on existing Interstates as a means of raising infrastructure revenue. The privatization of highways could dangerously alter the playing field for many business-owners along the nation’s highways. Congress should reject ineffective, inefficient methods of raising money for the highway program.


General Business Matters

Business Tax Policy: There are a number of provisions in the U.S. tax code that significantly impact fuel marketers’ operations. Sweeping tax reform legislation signed into law in December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) contained provisions impacting the motor fuel retailing industry. The partisan Democratic climate and tax bill enacted into law in August 2022 includes a 15% corporate minimum tax rate and an excise tax on stock buybacks. SIGMA advocates for tax policies that stimulate economic growth and promote a competitive business environment. SIGMA supported several provisions of the TCJA including changes to the corporate tax rate and to the taxation of pass-through entities.

Data Security, Breach, and Privacy: Over the past several years, many businesses and government agencies have suffered security breaches that have resulted in the theft of personal information from millions of customers. Banks, the government, technology companies, and credit reporting agencies, in addition to retailers, have all suffered security breaches affecting millions of people. Meanwhile, financial institutions are calling for retailers to bear the costs of card re-issuance after a data breach. Concerns have also been mounting about the voluntary sharing and selling of consumer information by businesses and Congress, in turn, is examining data privacy issues along with data breach and data security issues. SIGMA advocates for privacy and data security laws to cover every business sector based upon the sensitivity of the data handled without loopholes for favored industries.

Payments Security and EMV: Payments security is a serious concern for retailers who spend over $6.5 billion each year trying to protect against card fraud. Fraud rates, however, continue to rise in the United States because of outdated payment card technology. Because of this, and despite retailers’ significant security investments, merchants bear the brunt of fraud costs. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards Council and EMVCo have established a series of requirements for retailers to implement regarding the security of credit and debit card transactions and data. These requirements cost retailers tens of thousands of dollars per location, yet will not yield a secure system and will not provide the retailer with protection against liability. Retailers— unlike consumers whose liability for fraudulent charges on credit cards is capped at $50 by law—are not protected from getting hit with chargebacks connected with fraudulent transactions. SIGMA has advocated for policymakers to reform the current payment card standards process to ensure that fuel retailers are able to provide input. Retailers should be able to require a PIN or other advanced authentication technology for credit and debit card transactions, including those that occur on a mobile device.

Swipe Fees: Banks and credit card companies collect fees from retailers on transactions involving virtually every consumer product. Historically, for fuel marketers, this fee has been about two percent of every credit and debit card sale, though many marketers pay higher effective rates. In high-price environments, the credit card industry often makes more money than retailers on the sale of each gallon of gasoline. Not only is the amount of the fees too high, but marketers have no opportunity to negotiate these fees with the card companies or issuing banks, and they have no realistic choice as to whether to accept most cards due to the market power of the card associations. SIGMA is a member of a broad coalition of retail interests looking to address these market concerns, the Merchant’s Payments Coalition (MPC). SIGMA supports legislation that would promote competition in credit card networks with the goal of addressing excessive swipe fees.

Joint Employer Standard: When a “joint employer” business relationship exists, two or more companies would be jointly liable for federal labor law violations. Whether or not an employer is considered a “joint employer” with respect to a specific employee is particularly important in the fuel marketing space. Questions about what constitutes joint employment often arise under the oil brand- branded outlet or franchisee-franchisor business model, which is extremely common in the convenience and fuel marketing business and the retail sector more broadly. Many SIGMA members utilize these business models, and SIGMA closely monitors all government efforts to reclassify workers, including a recent proposal from the Biden Administration to change the definition of a joint employer.

Independent Contractor Issues: SIGMA members, which utilize a variety of employment contracts, are affected by changes to the status and definition of independent contractors. The Biden Administration is currently working to undo a Trump Administration rule that identified two core factors in determining if a worker is an independent contractor: (1) the nature and degree of control over the work; and (2) the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss.

Managerial Exemption from Overtime Requirements: As employers, SIGMA members will be affected by any changes to rules governing overtime pay, since many SIGMA employees work unpredictable hours doing a variety of different types of work. In particular, many upper-level management and executive personnel at fuel retail locations occasionally perform non-managerial duties. This flexibility is critical not only for businesses to maintain reliable, customer-friendly service and operations, but also for employees’ ability to professionally grow. It is even more essential in times of tight labor markets.  SIGMA supports the threshold set by the Trump Administration to determine which workers are exempt from overtime compensation.

FDA Regulation of Tobacco: The average convenience store/motor fuel marketer derives approximately one-third of its in-store sales from tobacco product sales. The Tobacco Control Act gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate the manufacture and retail sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Since then, FDA’s authority has extended to e-cigarettes and synthetic nicotine. The implementation of legislation or regulations that affect retail tobacco sales impacts many SIGMA members. SIGMA is concerned with efforts to limit the sale of flavored tobacco (including menthol cigarettes) and nicotine in combustible cigarettes. Due to the broad consumer base that exists among adult smokers, FDA regulatory action could increase illicit activity.

Food Policy: Convenience stores owned and operated by SIGMA members play an integral role in providing food assistance to their customers, particularly in rural and urban communities where economically challenged Americans have few places to shop for food. SIGMA advocates for small format retailers like SIGMA members to continue to be able to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In order to participate in SNAP, retailers must meet certain eligibility requirements, including “Depth of Stock” rules.

Retail Crime: The safety of SIGMA members’ employees and customers is a top priority for SIGMA. SIGMA Members, who deal with both cyber and in-store criminal activity, support legislative and regulatory action to combat retail crime on both fronts.

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SIGMA: America’s Leading Fuel Marketers is the national trade association representing fuel marketers & convenience store chain retailers in the United States & Canada.

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