The SIGMA In-Person Spring Conference is Back!
The SIGMA in-person Spring Conference is back! The 2021 Spring Conference at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country on May 11-13 is a go. After the resort successfully hosted the Valero Texas Open, we are certain we can have a safe and productive conference.
Please note that if you plan to participate in the SIGMA Open Scramble Golf Tournament you will need to arrive on Monday, May 10th. The Scramble is on Tuesday, May 11th starting at 7:30 AM on the Marriott’s TPC Oaks Course.
We know travel will take some getting used to again after all we have experienced. In that regard, Ryan McNutt shared important information about how the SIGMA 2021 Spring Conference will operate and the various safety measures that will be in place.
Click HERE to Read Ryan’s Message
We are looking forward to seeing you in San Antonio! Click HERE for full conference information and to register.
Beware Scammers Offering to Sell SIGMA’s Conference Attendee List
SIGMA is aware of scam email solicitations offering our 2021 Spring Conference attendee list for sale. SIGMA does not sell our attendee list information and, in fact, has taken additional steps to limit access to our attendee rosters to only those registered for the conference. Further, our rosters do not include contact information for any of our attendees. These companies are in no way affiliated with SIGMA and do not have valid information.
If you receive such a solicitation, please treat it as the scam it is and delete it.
SIGMA Sends Letter to DOT Opposing Rest Area Commercialization
On April 7th, SIGMA and other industry stakeholders sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg urging him “to protect the longstanding ban on commercializing Interstate rest areas as you consider policies to incentivize investments in America’s infrastructure and reauthorize surface transportation programs.”
“We are eager to collaborate with you on transportation policies that will facilitate long-term, sustainable investment for infrastructure without harming existing off-highway businesses and that spur improvement for the transportation sector. We urge you to reject proposals to carve out any exceptions to the commercialization ban that would allow state departments of transportation to compete against the private sector by selling food and fuel, including electric vehicle charging, or other commercial services at Interstate rest areas”, the letter said.
Additionally, the stakeholders provided examples substantiating that commercialized rest areas will hurt private businesses, undermine cities and towns, hurt consumers, threaten the livelihood of blind business owners, discourage investment in alternative fuels, and constrict truck parking capacity.
Some policymakers have recently spoken in favor of allowing electric vehicle charging at Interstate rest areas. SIGMA opposes any legislation that would undo the longstanding ban on offering commercial services on the Interstate right-of-way.
Fuels Institute’s Diesel Fuel Quality Council Issues New Report
The Fuels Institute’s Diesel Fuel Quality Council (DFQC) is a focus group working on research to support the compatibility between diesel fuel and modern diesel engines. The DFQC has just released its first publication, “Diesel Storage Tanks: Industry Practices to Minimize Degradation and Improve Fuel Quality.” It is available to download free from the Fuels Institute website.
"In working with members of the Council, we identified the storage tanks at fuel dispensing facilities to be one of the critical control points that could be improved by providing insight into the best industry practices to reduce equipment degradation and improve the quality of fuel delivered into vehicles. This report has gone through exhaustive review to ensure that is represents valuable guidance that will have a significant positive influence on tank owners and vehicle operators," John Eichberger, Fuels Institute Executive Director, said.
By adopting the best practices found in the DFQC's guidance document, tank owners can mitigate costly problems within their tank system and preserve fuel quality to protect the vehicles they are fueling. This set of best practices includes information on proper fuel delivery, equipment and tank maintenance and monitoring, dispenser filters, fuel testing, and fuel remediation.
Download the report here: Fuel Quality Council | Fuels Institute
SIGMA Analysis of Biden Tax Proposals Now Available
SIGMA counsel Steptoe & Johnson has prepared descriptions and analysis of the Biden Administration’s recent tax proposals contained in its infrastructure package and a subsequent expansion on those proposals by the Treasury Department that are now available to SIGMA members.
Note: You must log in to view the documents.
Click HERE to view the American Jobs Plan update
Click HERE to view the Made in America Tax Plan Report update
Court Vacates Trump Administration Rule Limiting Emission Regulations
On April 5th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated a rule issued by the Trump Administration during President Trump’s last days in office that limited facilities that the federal government could regulate for carbon emissions. The Biden Administration had asked the Court to vacate the “Significant Contribution Rule” to avoid excess judicial proceedings over a rule with a “procedural defect.”
Under the rule, emission sources would have to had exceed 3% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in order to be regulated as a dangerous source of pollution under the Clean Air Act. That threshold precluded EPA from setting emission standards for sources such as “oil and gas production facilities, petroleum refineries, and boilers,” EPA said in its motion to vacate. Additionally in its motion, EPA acknowledged that when the rule was issued the agency “failed to provide any public notice or opportunity for comment on the central elements of the [rule], rendering it unlawful.”
Visa Declines to Extend AFD EMV Liability Date
This week, Visa declined the request by SIGMA, NACS, NATSO, and EMA that it extend its EMV liability shift date for automatic fuel dispensers (AFDs) from April 17th to October 31st, and confirmed its commitment to the liability shift date.
In a letter addressed to EMA, Visa said, “The intention for merchants to migrate to EMV to help prevent counterfeit payment fraud was made public almost a decade ago on August 9, 2011. AFDs were given an exception to the original liability shift date of October 1, 2015 with an extended date of October 1, 2017. The liability shift date for AFDs was extended from 2017 to October 1, 2020 and extended again in 2020 to April 17, 2021. In total, the liability shift has been extended for more than five years.”
Visa noted, however, that it is offering a new program “to support fuel merchants nationwide.”
“Visa is supporting eligible fuel merchants with an extra layer of fraud prevention by offering Visa Transaction Advisor (VTA) at no additional charge for one year starting on April 17, 2021. All fuel merchants with non-EMV enabled AFDs are eligible and VTA will be automatically enabled by Visa.
VTA offers real-time risk assessment when consumers pay for fuel at the pump, helping mitigate fraud as fuel merchants work toward implementing EMV technology. VTA operates invisibly to the cardholder to ensure a positive customer experience and leverages existing payment processes so new investment in infrastructure is not needed,” Visa said.