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November 17, 2021
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  









Trenton, specifically the Legislature, is back in session for the first time since June. As always, we are monitoring the activity daily and will notify you if anything pops up we will need to take action on. One such action that we are following may pertain to our members with convenience stores that sell produce. Those that sell produce under the proposed legislation could face a $200 fine for selling produce grown in New York or another state and representing the produce as "local" produce. What's most concerning is the fine applies per item. If you are carrying a barrel of apples labeled as local and they were not farmed in New Jersey, you will face a fine of $200 for each apple. We will continue to follow this legislation as it progresses, and you can read more about it HERE.



Last week, the President signed the long awaited infrastructure bill that we mentioned in last week's Road Warrior. As a reminder, the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill includes $550 billion in new spending for roads, bridges, water infrastructure, freight rail, transit systems, and broadband. More importantly to us, $7.5 billion is expected to go to electric vehicle charging stations and $65 billion for upgrades to the nation's electric grid to prepare for a potential influx of electric vehicles. New Jersey is looking to gain $104 million to go toward expanding the state's network of electric vehicle charging stations, adding to the 300 locations the state currently has. For more information on what New Jersey stands to gain from the infrastructure bill, click HERE. 



Inflation and the price of gas has been at the forefront of the news lately as you all may have noticed. What is happening with the price of crude oil and gas, although we're not there yet, is the direction that we were headed the last time this happened in 2008. The whole cost of energy issue in 2008 precipitated a terrible economic decline. Right now we are experiencing total inflation that we weren't experiencing back in 2008. Unfortunately, there is no action we can take to alleviate this issue. However, we are watching the marketplace and hoping for the best. The last time this happened, the country went into a huge economic downturn, including a major collapse of the stock market. It all emphasizes the importance of the cost of energy to the entire world.  My concern is this; whenever the price of gas spikes this sharply, it is the retailers that take it on the chin as margins are squeezed.  I can not stress enough, and you should check with your accountants, but maintaining your margins is more important than maintaining your volume. 



Thank you to those of you who made donations to our Turkey Drive this year! We had another extremely successful year feeding the hungry and food insecure ahead of the holiday season. For those of you who did not donate but would still like to, it's not too late! You can send a contribution through our online donation page through the end of the day today in order for us to be able to drop off contributions in time to the food bank. We continued to be inspired by and in awe of our membership's and community's generosity ahead of the season of giving, and thank those of you who contributed. We are so happy to help everyone in our state enjoy the holiday season and not have to worry about putting food on the table. We will report back with the amount that we were able to give to the food bank the next time I write to you.



Finally, I want to wish our entire membership a very happy, festive and safe Thanksgiving. We are another year into celebrating this holiday amidst a pandemic, and again, I feel so incredibly thankful for everything I have this year, including my health and my family's health, and I know you all do too. Unless there is something urgent to report, there will not be a Road Warrior newsletter next week in order to celebrate the holiday to its fullest. 


Be Well -  

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 4900 Route 33 West, Wall Township, NJ 07753


ASE Training Course - Reach Out Today!

Are you (or an employee) getting ready to take your A6, A8, or L1 in preparation to recertifying your Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through the State's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP)?  

We can help --- but we need to hear from you, first! 
NJGCA wants to hear from students interested in our ASE-prep training program, so we can gauge demand and schedule our next session series. 

As you know, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has always maintained a "dual-track" system to allow technicians to earn their Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through New Jersey's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP). In doing so, technicians were allowed to certify as ERTs through either an ASE-test track or an ETEP-educational class track. Starting on January 1, 2020, NJDEP amended the ETEP criteria, and the ETEP-educational class track was abolished.  

Today, only the ASE-test track remains, and all ERTs must certify or re-certify their credentials though ASE to remain in the Program. 

NJGCA has recently offered an ASE-prep class to help you get ready for the A6, A8, and L1. In doing so, students were welcome to participate in a ten-session preparatory class that covered material for all three ASE exams. We also had a handful of students who joined us only for the A8 or L1 sections.  

Once completed, students took their ASE exams with a local ASE-approved test proctor (NJGCA can train you to prepare for the ASE exams, but are not permitted to offer the actual exam - students must make these arrangements individually themselves). 

Building on that success, we are now seeking student participation in our next training series session. To make arrangements and organize a session, we need to hear from you! 

If you are interested, please email us at training@njgca.org ASAP. 

We'll record your interest, inquire on your availability, and schedule a class once we have a full complement of students.   

Only with your feedback can we gauge student headcount and participation.  

Please reach out to us today, and thank you for your interest! 

Contact Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org to inquire about potential trainings and class dates



  News Around The State  



Citing High Gas Prices, Biden Asks FTC to Redouble Probe of Possible 'Illegal Conduct'

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday said there was mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies that is keeping fuel prices elevated, asking the Federal Trade Commission to dig deeper into possible "illegal conduct" in the market. The White House is pressing on several fronts to try to lower fuel costs, even as tight global oil supply drives gasoline and heating oil prices higher. Retail gasoline prices recently touched seven-year highs as consumer demand has recovered while oil supply remains below pre-pandemic peaks.



Analysis: Will Gasoline Prices Drop In 2022? It Depends On OPEC and U.S. Shale

Whether fuel pump prices fall in 2022 depends on two groups of producers who are struggling to increase oil output in the wake of the pandemic: OPEC and its allies and U.S. shale firms. The global oil industry's slow response to the surging demand in 2021 has contributed to soaring energy costs and inflationary pressures worldwide. As the economy recovers and populations resume road, rail and air travel, global oil demand has nearly rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. Supply has not recovered so fast - so to keep up with demand, the industry is burning through oil kept in storage.



Adaptive Driving Beams Are Finally Going To Be Legal In The U.S.

Listen up, America. Adaptive driving beams are finally going to become legal, thanks to a provision in the infrastructure bill. This is great news for nighttime driving safety - your author is particularly excited that this technology will finally be legal in cars sold in the U.S. In case you aren't familiar, adaptive driving beams are fully explained in this story here. But in short, they're the trick headlights we see in many European cars that can adapt their high beam illumination based on the surrounding environment. The system uses cameras and sensors to pick out other cars on the road, and is able to trace a perfect, darkened opening for the other cars, while still throwing out high beam-like light everywhere else.



Fuel Price Sees Slight Dip

The national average price for a gallon of gas leveled off at $3.41, down a penny since last week, according to AAA. Since Oct. 30, the national average has fallen on nine different days, after having risen steadily each of the previous 31 days. "A slight dip in gas demand, possibly due to seasonal driving habit changes, is contributing to some price relief at the pump," said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. "Unfortunately, the ongoing tight supply of crude oil will likely keep gas prices fluctuating, instead of dropping, for some time."



Biden Signs Infrastructure Bill, Promoting Benefits for Americans

President Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law on Monday afternoon, a bipartisan victory that will pour billions into the nation's roads, ports and power lines. While the bill stopped short of realizing his full-scale ambitions for overhauling America's transportation and energy systems, Mr. Biden pointed to it as evidence that lawmakers could work across party lines to solve problems in Washington. He also said it would better position the United States to compete against China and other nations vying for dominance of 21st century emerging industries.



Vaccine Mandate Suffers another Blow

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit handed opponents of the Biden Administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses with 100 or more employees another short-term win Friday evening, extending the Nov. 6 temporary stay the three-judge panel imposed on enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) emergency temporary standard (ETS) pending judicial review. The Biden Administration last week asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to allow implementation and enforcement of the mandate to move forward following multiple challenges brought before the court in BST Holdings vs. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, including a suit filed by NACS and 10 state and national trade associations. At least 26 states and multiple business groups and labor unions are challenging the ETS in nearly every federal appellate court in the nation. Under a federal appeals court lottery system, all of the cases are expected to be combined into a single case.



New Jersey Small Businesses Have the Holiday Blues
As the holiday shopping season revs up, things continue to go downhill for small businesses across the Garden State, and nobody is expecting conditions to improve anytime soon. Eileen Kean, the New Jersey state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said the latest NFIB Optimism Index report finds smaller businesses continue to struggle to find enough workers, pay them higher salaries and keep in-demand items on store shelves because of the supply chain disruption crisis. . . She said all different kinds of mom and pop stores are facing this same problem, and this is leading to frustration among shoppers looking to finds all kinds of things.



Who Makes Money Selling Gas?

Most people think convenience stores and gas stations make a lot of money selling gas-and even more money when prices rise. In fact, a stunning 45% of drivers think that retailers make at least $2 a gallon in profit per gallon, according to a NACS consumer survey. If that were the case, the typical convenience store annually selling 1.5 million gallons of fuel would make $3 million a year in pretax profits. . . I know it's incredibly frustrating how gas prices have risen so dramatically over the past few months. The average car consumes more than 500 gallons of gas a year, so a dollar-per-gallon increase hits the wallet hard. But, at the same time, let's be honest. A 10- to 15-cent profit on a product that cost $3.40 is not the problem. It's certainly not gouging, even though that seems to be an easy complaint to make. Here's some math to see what is leading to higher prices, looking at the four distinct elements of gas prices, in descending order.



  Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices  

Each week, the Energy Information Administration publishes a list of average gasoline prices for the previous three weeks. NJGCA will begin including this list with the Weekly Road Warrior. Remember, these prices are reflective of self-serve everywhere except NJ.




  Member Benefit Partner Message Board  







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