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February 10, 2022
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  









Last week, we mentioned that Right to Repair was back in the news and since then the issue has taken off at the federal level. Two separate pieces of legislation were introduced to address the issue: one to ensure vehicle owners and independent repair shops have equal access to repair and maintenance tools that automakers' dealerships have, and another, the "Freedom to Repair Act" to reform copyright law to make it easier for consumers to get repairs. The first bill would require all tools and equipment, wireless transmission of repair and diagnostic data and access to on-board diagnostic systems needed for repairs be made available to the independent repair industry. The second would allow "consumers to repair their own devices without needing to get the Copyright Office's permission every three years." This is part of an initiative from the Biden administration to use the FTC to boost competition in the marketplace. In retaliation to the Massachusetts law passed overwhelmingly in 2020, Subaru and Kia have disabled the telematics system and associated features on new cars registered in Massachusetts. None of the other automakers have done so however. A court case over the updated MA Right to Repair law is expected to finally have a ruling soon, after about 6 months of delay.

Last week, the Auto Care Association released an online petition that contacts your members of Congress to support right to repair. Please take a minute to support this cause by clicking HERE. It will prepopulate an informative letter of support that will go to your Representatives and Senators informing them on the issue and the importance of the law to the independent auto repair industry.


We are privileged to receive the Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades (SSDA) weekly newsletter which brings informative content and noteworthy news to our inboxes every week. There were two pieces I read recently that I wanted to make our members aware of, the first being how to recognize the signs of email fraud. With cybercrime on the rise, we must be vigilant in recognizing the signs of fraud and knowing how to address them. We have talked about phishing before, which is a fraudulent email that claims to be from a legitimate source in order to access your sensitive information such as passwords and credit card numbers. If you click on any links or attachments in these emails, you could be giving the fraudster access to your personal information. One can pinpoint these emails by noticing fake "from" email accounts, generic and/or impersonal greetings, bad grammar and punctuation throughout the email itself, the content of the email is desperately urgent, and/or fake links or attachments. Make sure you take a minute and assess emails that end up in your inbox that look suspicious, don't click on any links, and make sure your passwords and online security are unique and complex. You can also report the email as a phishing attempt to your email service provider.


A Texas-based energy company wants to build a $6 billion facility that would produce gasoline from natural gas in Pennsylvania. The facility will produce the country's first zero- and low-carbon footprint gasoline for everyday cars and trucks at competitive prices. Construction at the Pennsylvania site would begin by 2024, along with two other plants in Arizona and Texas. The gas would come from two sources of natural gas: natural gas piped in from the hydraulically fractured or "fracked" natural gas in Marcellus shale, and methane gas released and captured from municipal landfills, decomposing animal waste and sewage plants. Getting gasoline from natural gas would apparently cut carbon emissions compared with getting it from oil, and the methane gases from landfills would essentially be carbon neutral since those gases currently go to the atmosphere anyway. Should this plant get up and running in Pennsylvania in the next few years it would likely be supplying us here in NJ. You can read more about this initiative HERE.


On Monday February 7th, the average rack price without taxes was $2.64 a gallon, the highest it's been since September 2014. Last Monday, it was set at $2.52, jumping 12 cents in a week. One of the main differences since 2014 is that the NJ gas tax has increased by almost 28 cents a gallon. The spring usually adds to the price so we can possibly expect this to go up even further in the coming weeks. Oil prices also hit $90 a barrel last week, the first time they've reached that level since 2014. Sal is still away and unable to provide further analysis on the marketplace, but we will continue to monitor the prices and bring you any relevant updates.


We have learned that one of the home rapid COVID tests that is becoming available to be sold in stores was illegally imported into the country and should be avoided. The test, called Standard Q COVID-19 Ag Home Test is from South Korea and already has been widely distributed across the United States though it was never supposed to be. The test was not approved and never cleared by the FDA and is currently being recalled. We wanted to bring this to your attention if you currently have these on your shelves and are selling this brand. You can click HERE to view the full article and see what the box looks like.

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  


U.S. Oil Prices Top $90 A Barrel For The First Time Since 2014

U.S. oil crossed above $90 on Thursday for the first time since 2014 as demand for petroleum products surges while supply remains constrained. West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. oil benchmark, gained more than 2% to trade as high as $90.23 per barrel. The last time prices were above the $90 mark was October 2014. International benchmark Brent crude rose 1.7% to trade at $91. Brent topped $90 on Jan. 26. Oil's had a blistering rally since falling to record lows in April 2020 - WTI briefly traded in negative territory - as demand has returned but producers have kept supply in check. Geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine as well as in the Middle East have also sent jitters through the market.


Labor Department to Recruit More Investigators

The U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is looking to hire 100 new investigators, reports Bloomberg Law. The increase in staff comes after the agency said in January that it would help the National Labor Relations Board with investigations and share information on potential violations of law. The board is specifically looking to target contractor misclassification and retaliation against workers. The WHD is also increasing its staff as it prepares for an influx of enforcement demands under the hundreds of federally funded infrastructure projects created as part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The agency is responsible for enforcing prevailing wage requirements.


Dropping Indoor Mask Mandate, New York Joins Blue States Easing COVID Rules

The easing of New York's pandemic restrictions on businesses comes as Democratic-led states from New Jersey to California have announced similar moves this week, in a loosely coordinated effort that is the result of months of public-health planning, back-channel discussions and political focus groups that began in the weeks after the November election.


Worker Shortages Fuel Debate Over Self-Serve Gas in Oregon

Lawmakers on the Joint Transportation Committee heard testimony Tuesday from supporters of a bill that would allow gas stations to offer drivers the choice to pump their own fuel. If House Bill 4151 is approved, it would end Oregon's status as one of just two states with restrictions on self-serve fuel, the other being New Jersey. . . Gas stations in 18 rural Oregon counties have been able to offer self-serve fuel since 2015. But the ban on self-serve remains in place in the Willamette Valley and along many of the state's most heavily traveled highways. Under the proposal, gas stations in Oregon would have to continue to offer customers the option to have an attendant fill the tank. . .The proposal won the endorsement of gas station owners, many of whom spoke of the challenges of finding enough employees to stay open.


Why This Could Be a Critical Year for Electric Cars

Sales of cars powered solely by batteries surged in the United States, Europe and China last year, while deliveries of fossil fuel vehicles were stagnant. Demand for electric cars is so strong that manufacturers are requiring buyers to put down deposits months in advance. And some models are effectively sold out for the next two years. . .While electric vehicles still account for a small slice of the market - nearly 9 percent of the new cars sold last year worldwide were electric, up from 2.5 percent in 2019, according to the International Energy Agency - their rapid growth could make 2022 the year when the march of battery-powered cars became unstoppable, erasing any doubt that the internal combustion engine is lurching toward obsolescence.


2022 Could Be a Critical Year for EV

Electric vehicle (EV) adoption is on the rise, with EV sales rising 88% year over year in 2021, and this year could be a critical one for battery-operated vehicles, reports the New York Times. EV demand has many manufacturers sold out of their models, but gas-powered carmakers and part suppliers are threatened if slow to adopt. . . Half of a trillion dollars could be invested into the EV industry, according to investment firm Wedbush Securities, and there are more than a dozen EV and battery factories planned for the U.S. However, the Times reports that gas-powered car part makers could go out of business, such as makers of mufflers and fuel injection systems. There are close to three million Americans that are employed by the motor vehicle industry, and industry experts say that EVs require less manpower to make because the cars have less components.


Feds Sending $15M to N.J. to Build Electric Car Charging Stations

New Jersey is getting $15.4 million from Washington this year to help finance a network of electric car charging stations. . .The legislation includes $5 billion over five years for a nationwide network of stations to help fund Biden's goal of having 500,000 stations by 2030. Through 2026, New Jersey will receive $104.4 million. . .The federal government money will cover 80% of the cost with states picking up the remaining 20%. States can hire private companies to install and maintain the charging stations, which can be 50 miles apart.



  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  







  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  

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