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March 3, 2022
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  









Some weeks the staff and I debate what to write about so that the Road Warrior is not too long. This is one of those weeks when I just couldn't make it shorter.  Please read on.



The biggest news item of the week for us came on Monday when A-3105, the Motorist Fueling Choice and Convenience Act was introduced in the General Assembly with bipartisan support from leading Assemblymembers-Carol Murphy (D-Burlington), Ned Thomson (R-Monmouth), and Annette Chaparro (D-Hudson). The Senate companion will be introduced soon as well. This bill, if it became law, would allow gas stations to offer self-serve gas, joining us to the rest of the nation. Stations that have more than four gasoline dispensers would have to provide some level of full-serve between 8am and 8pm if they are open to the public. You can read the full legislation here. The fact that we are able to guarantee a choice has been critical in building support, and the media have been great about emphasizing that point in their articles. We have seen several members of the public comment on social media that while they don't want to pump their own gas, they aren't against a bill that gives others a choice. 

Thank you to those who have contacted your legislators and the Governor saying you support this. We know for a fact that there are some cranks out there who are emailing every legislator saying they hate this bill and don't want anything to ever change. If you have not already, you MUST contact your legislators to tell them you support this bill. Legislators don't get many emails from regular voters so even if just a dozen motorists write saying they want this bill dead it will have an effect, especially if they only get two emails in favor. Yes, that may be dumb given that they represent 230,000 people, but that's the way politicians can be. You can use this webpage to contact them if you haven't already, and feel free to share the link with friends, families, and fellow station owners. 

Here are links to a few media pieces. You can also read the two press releases we sent out HERE and HERE.

NJ Spotlight: Time To End Ban On Self-Serve At The Pump?

NJ.com: Will N.J. Allow Pump-Your-Own Gas Stations? With New Bill, The Great Debate Is Back!

NJ 101.5: Lawmakers Propose Bill Bringing Self Serve Gas To New Jersey

TAP Into: New Jersey Drivers May Soon Be Able to Pump Their Own Gas

WCBS News Radio: New Bill Could Bring End to NJ's 73-Year Ban On Drivers Pumping Their Own Gas

NBC News 4 NY1: NJ Drivers May Soon Do Something They Haven't Done in 70 Years: Pump Their Own Gas

Politico: Lawmakers Revive Proposal To Repeal New Jersey's Self Serve Gas Ban. Can It Finally Pass?

PIX 11 News Broadcast

CBS 2 News Broadcast

ABC 7 News Broadcast



On Sunday Robert Thornton, aged just 31, passed away. He was a tow truck driver for Nick's Towing Service in Rutherford, a longtime NJGCA member, and he was struck by an out-of-control vehicle on Route 3 in Rutherford during a tow. Its important to remember that we're all brethren in these industries and that tragedy can strike on the job. You can read more details, as well as find information about the arrangements and a link to a GoFundMe page for his family HERE.



While some motorists are talking of boycotts of Lukoil gas stations in retaliation for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the most serious threat is coming from local government. The Newark City Council passed a resolution Wednesday afternoon that would suspend the business license of the two Lukoil stations located in their town, as well as for associated businesses located on the premises. They called on every other municipality and the State government to do the same. Their statements made it sound like they think all the revenue is going directly to Putin, they clearly are not thinking about the franchisee small business owners that would be destroyed by this. We believe that this action is unconstitutional, and should it be enacted the courts would hopefully strike it down. Still, it would be wise to not wait until you already have a problem to act and be potentially forced to close shop or hire a lawyer. Reach out now to your local mayor and member of town council proactively and make sure they understand the terrible spot you've been put in, and that you are just trying to keep a small business alive and operating. 

View another article that includes a news broadcast featuring Sal, click HERE.

If you are a Lukoil location we recommend you make clear that your business is an American small business, not the local outpost of some Russian tyrant, and that customers' business keeps a small business open and keeps our neighbors employed, your sales are not being immediately transferred to fund an unjust war. If you have a social media account like Facebook, make sure to post about yourself, your business, your story, and your employees. If you don't have an account this might be the reason to create one. Make sure people understand that you are stuck in this franchise agreement and can't just switch suppliers when you choose to, but you are trying to build your part of the American dream. This article from CNN may be helpful as a "neutral" source on the subject. 

Consider too putting out big American and even Ukrainian flags. The Ukrainian colors are blue and yellow, and many businesses and public buildings are putting up banners or decorative lighting in those colors, you may want to consider this as well. You could also raise money, or make a donation, or even commit a portion of your gas sales over a period of time to a verified charity engaging in helping Ukrainians, this link lists several verified charities



Oil prices jumped dramatically this week after holding fairly steady during the first few days of the Russian invasion. WTI, the most important benchmark for US gas prices, jumped from around $95 a barrel on Monday to over $110 by Wednesday. The average rack price Tuesday night jumped 15ยข a gallon to $2.89 a gallon before tax, the highest rate since July 2014. When you add in the higher NJ gas tax we have now, these are the highest wholesale prices since October 2012. One of the reasons for the jump is that it has become clear that even though the US and most Western nations are exempting Russian oil from sanctions, everyone from traders to banks to freighters don't want to be associated with the risks of Russian oil, even as its now being sold at a discount. That's driving up the price for all non-Russian oil. Hopefully these prices will spur more domestic drilling, though that will take time. You can read more details HERE.



This is a reminder that a bill signed into law by Governor Murphy in January takes effect on March 19th. The new law requires any business that sells tobacco products to offer for sale some type of FDA-approved nicotine cessation product, such as nicotine gum or lozenges. Which type of product exactly, how much, and what price you charge are up to you. They must be stocked somewhere behind the register, near the tobacco products. You can read the full language of the new law HERE. The law also requires that each retailer hang a sign somewhere on the premises with certain information. We have made a model sign that meets the requirements of the bill that you can print and use, make sure it is somewhere that customers can see it.



All members who are scheduled to renew their membership in March will receive an email this week with an electronic invoice and a link to pay for it. When you go to the site to pay you will have to retrieve your logon information as it has changed. You'll receive an email with the new logon credentials. 

 When you pay the invoice, a confirmation email will be generated. Also, when you click on the link in the email, you will see the actual invoice with details and an option to print it or download it to your computer. For all other members renewing throughout 2022, this is the new procedure for billing and payment. It is important to check your emails on or about the first of the month of your renewal. Reminder invoices will also be sent out on or about the first of the month. Any questions or concerns can be addressed by emailing accounting@njgca.org  

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. May Tap Strategic Oil Reserves

The White House is considering a globally coordinated crude stockpile release, as Russia's military attack on Ukraine sent oil prices above $100 per barrel, reports SP Global. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said Feb. 22 that member countries "stand ready to act collectively to ensure that global oil markets are adequately supplied." Following Russia's military operation against Ukraine, Brent crude oil surpassed $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014, the Wall Street Journal reports.


Oil, Natural-Gas Prices Spike as Nations Sanction Russia Over Ukraine

Oil, natural-gas and grain prices increased significantly as Western sanctions on Russia threaten exports, reports the Wall Street Journal. Futures for Brent crude, which is the benchmark in international oil markets, rose 4.9% to $98.73 a barrel in London trading Monday. Brent was as high as $101.28 a barrel. OPIS reported that in the first 15 minutes of trading, April West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded for as much as $99.10 a barrel. April contracts received double digit gains for diesel and gasoline. Yesterday, at about 7:15 p.m. EST, April RBOB was up 10.35 cents a gallon to $2.9776 a gallon, but it previously breached the $3-a-gallon mark, said OPIS. April ULSD was up 11.81 cents a gallon to $2.9239 gallon.


CDC Changes COVID-19 Mask Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its U.S. guidelines regarding COVID-19, including its mask guidance, reports the Associated Press. Americans who live in an area where the coronavirus is posing a low or medium threat to hospitals can stop wearing masks, which means more than 70% of the nation's population. The CDC's latest guidelines focus more on the virus's impact on hospitals and less on positive test results, which greatly changes the CDC risk map. Previous guidance focused on the rate of new COVID-19 cases and the percentage of positive test results over the previous week.


Gas Prices, Already Rising, May Go Higher Amid Russia-Ukraine Crisis

As gas prices rise amid the military conflict in Ukraine, it's too early to say how that could affect overall gas-tax collections, which play a key role in determining the taxes motorists pay each time they buy a gallon of gas in New Jersey. . . And right now, motorists appear to be cutting back on driving in response to the latest surge in gas prices, according to Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline and Convenience Store Association. "Members have been telling me this for the past few months," Risalvato said in a recent interview.


People in NJ Boycotting Vodka, Gasoline to Strike Back at Ukraine Invasion
Among New Jersey businesses ditching Russian vodka and other spirits as the invasion continues is Bayway World of Liquor in Elizabeth. "We all must do whatever we can to support President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people," Bayway's owner, Fred Leighton said, as quoted on Facebook by former Democratic state Sen. Raymond Lesniak. Leighton confirmed to us that the business has taken Russian brands off of its shelves.


U.S. Has Not Sanctioned Russian Oil but Traders Avoiding It

U.S. traders in the nation's largest oil hubs have cautiously put imports from Russian companies on hold, even though the White House has said oil sales are not the target of sanctions. The response from traders means sanctions have disrupted energy markets more than expected following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Crude futures have soared above $100 a barrel even though the United States and its NATO allies have not yet blocked Russian oil sales, worried it could feed inflation.


Newark, NJ Councilman Targets City's Lukoil Gas Licenses Over Ukraine
Moscow-based Lukoil could be the next target of a New Jersey boycott of products from Russia following that country's invasion of Ukraine, at least in the state's most populous city, where one council member said he will introduce a resolution to suspend the business licenses of local Lukoil stations. Although the measure sponsored by North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr. does not appear on the final version of Wednesday afternoon's Newark Municipal Council agenda, he wrote on Facebook Tuesday night that the council would vote on it during that meeting.


Newark Votes to Shut Down Lukoil Gas Stations Due To Ties To Russia

The Newark City Council has voted to shut down all Lukoil gas stations in the city due to the company's ties to Russia. The Lukoil company is headquartered in Moscow, but individual gas stations are franchises. The Newark council voted to suspend the Lukoil licenses. The move does not seem to impact Russia in any way, but it does impact local businesses.


More oil supply could stop massive price spikes. But US producers won't fill that gap

Oil prices are soaring to seven-year highs, but don't expect US oil producers to ramp up supply. On the face of it, it's an ideal time for US firms to cash in on high prices after Russia's invasion of Ukraine: Traders are nervous about purchasing Russian oil due to uncertainty about the situation, though those exports aren't subject to current sanctions. And other major producers like Saudi Arabia have indicated they won't fill the global supply gap. Making more US oil could net a tidy profit for producers while lowering prices at the pump for drivers. But several issues are stopping these companies from scaling up production.



  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.




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  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  

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