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May 26, 2022
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  








Last week we mentioned that the Democrats proposed legislation, the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, which would provide powers to the Federal Trade Commission to penalize oil companies if they can prove the company is unfairly inflating the price of gas or other petroleum-based fuels. Last week, NJGCA submitted a press release defending service station owners and pointing out that New Jersey already has anti-gouging laws in place. The bill has passed the House and is moving in the Senate, but is unlikely to pass. 

Also in federal news, we sent a letter to various officials in the federal government as part of a coalition effort to bring attention to the flawed federal biofuel mandate, the renewable fuel standards (RFS).  The RFS requires refiners to either blend renewables into the fuels that they produce, or purchase compliance credits known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). This standard is causing a big problem for refiners, as many independent refiners, especially in the Northeast, do not possess the necessary infrastructure to engage in large-scale blending and are therefore forced to purchase these RINs credits in order to comply with the RFS. These RIN credits are expensive, and the current process threatens the longer-term viability of last remaining independent refineries on the East Coast. The Northeast has lost 1.5 million barrels per day - or roughly 70 percent - of its refining capacity in the past decade alone. This will only continue to hurt our supply security. Additional closures due to the flawed RFS would be a devastating blow to our region and our national security. 


Some of you may have received a message to contact your legislators about the proposed New Jersey menthol cigarette ban. The federal government is planning to ban menthol tobacco products over the course of the next two years or so, but Trenton may do so immediately rather than wait for a nationwide ban to take effect. If you received the email call to action, your state senator is one of the key people that will decide on a statewide menthol ban. The statewide ban will only hurt honest storeowners, as customers will either start buying their cigarettes from Pennsylvania and/or New York, where they will remain legal, or buy them illegally from black market operators who will truck them in from other states (states with much lower taxes so the prices will be lower). Some store owners will just ignore the law, as they have with the flavored vaping ban. Only honest store operators will be hurt by this bill. If you got the email, please send a message to your legislator on how disastrous this would be in New Jersey.

We also last week submitted testimony on a proposed bill that in it's current form would ban all forms of non-compete or non-solicitation agreements, which has come up for a hearing more than once in the past few years. The bill passed the Assembly Labor Committee last week. We want to protect the right of shop owner to be able to ask their mechanic to sign an agreement saying that if the mechanic ever leaves their business, either to open their own or go to work for a competitor, that mechanic is prevented from simply calling the owner of every car that ever came into their previous employer's garage and solicit them for business.  The bill, A-3715, would also potentially hurt the value of your business because it would not allow someone looking to buy a repair shop from asking the seller to sign a contact prohibiting the seller from opening down the street and taking back all their old customers, even if both parties want to sign such an agreement. The bill should make it explicit that noncompetition agreements continue to apply to owners of a business that is being sold, and under terms substantially similar to what is legal today. We are working with a large coalition of other business groups to fix these problems in the bill. 

The Assembly Commerce Committee also moved legislation that would effectively prevent your Unemployment Insurance taxes from going up in July as they are currently scheduled to. The proposed legislation would give businesses with under 500 employees dollar for dollar tax credits that cover the upcoming increases in unemployment insurance payroll tax, which are continuing to increase to refill the UI Fund since it was all spent during the COVID-19 shutdowns. 


We mentioned last week that we have plenty of cone signs and packets of handouts to give customers about contacting legislators to pass self-serve in New Jersey. We would be happy to provide you with these handouts so your customers can contact legislators to have the law changed. In our experience, many customers still think the orange cones are there because the pump is out of gas. Putting these signs in the cone can be very effective at raising awareness about the need to change the law and how serious the labor shortage continues to be. If you would like to get some handouts or signs, contact Eric at eric@njgca.org so we can get them to you. 

cone signs available for your pumps
handouts available to distribute to your customers.


Our scholarship application is now live and we are accepting both mailed and online applications. Last year, NJGCA awarded four scholarships to children of NJGCA members and the children of employees of NJGCA members. A total of $10,000 was awarded with $5,000 being contributed thanks to the generosity of Utica Insurance. Utica Insurance is the insurance company that insures many NJGCA members. The contribution was arranged by NJGCA MBP Amato Agency. Once again, Utica has contributed $5,000 towards a scholarship that is to be awarded to a student attending an automotive technical school or studying automotive technology. The NJGCA Board of Directors has also approved additional awards. Each NJGCA member will be entitled to submit ONE application that will be reviewed by the scholarship committee. Applicants may be either the child of a member, or an employee, or the child of an employee that works for the NJGCA member. You can find both the mail-in application and the online application HERE. Do not forget to include the other documentation required (transcripts, essays, etc) to be considered.


Finally, I want to wish our members a wonderful and safe Memorial Day. Amidst your summer celebrations, I hope you will remember and honor the sacrifices of the men and women who gave their lives for our country.

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  


Pelosi and Price Controls

Bloomberg's Javier Blas tweets: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats will next week present a bill on gasoline price gouging. The bill will enable the president to issue emergency declaration making it illegal to increase the price of gasoline. "Price gouging needs to be stopped." Economically, this is utter stupidity. It would just be something else that discourages the increased investment in new oil and gas production that consumers need. This proposal probably cannot (for once) be explained by the climate wars (if it can, it will eventually accelerate the greenflationary ratchet still further), but by political calculations that make sense in a way that its economic logic does not. 


What Consumers Should Know When Gas Prices Soar

The convenience and fuel retailing industry knows that selling gas is a low margin business, but it can be hard to change the consumer's perception that gas stations are rolling in the dough, especially when fuel prices hit record-high prices, reports The Boston Globe. When oil prices start rising, fuel retailers have the difficult decision either eat some of the higher costs to save their customer base or pass along the costs and risk losing business-many opt to make less money on each gallon they sell in hopes that they can recoup those losses if crude prices later retreat, and they can lower the pump price more slowly than their costs decline. "Someone in the supply chain is making money with gas at these prices, but it's not the retailer," Dave Ellard, who owns two Mobil-branded stations, in Attleboro and North Attleborough, Massachusetts, told the Globe.


New Jersey Officials Hope Anti-Gas Gouging Bill Will Ease Pain At The Pump

New Jersey officials are hoping a new bill cracking down on price gouging by oil companies and other energy producers will offer some relief to drivers as prices at the pump continue to soar. . . Not everyone is in favor of the measure, though. Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association, said it wrongly scrutinizes service stations and creates contrived mistrust of small business owners. "Congress is wholly misguided and misinformed in putting forward this proposal," he said. "They're taking a shot at service stations for high fuel prices, while disregarding the reality in how these prices are determined in the first place...Washington is failing to recognize that my members are prey to the same market volatility that consumers are


Electric Vehicle Automakers, Tesla And Cadillac Are Raising Prices In Response To Inflation

Looks like Joe Biden's "Go Electric" campaign might come to an inflationary crashing halt before it even takes off. Automakers such as Tesla and Cadillac are raising electric vehicle prices in response to rising commodity costs like key materials needed for EV batteries. At the end of the day it's simple economics. When you tell the entire country to go electric at the same time, you're bound to put pressure on commodity prices due to supply and demand. According to CNBC, projections show a sharp increase in demand for battery minerals over the next four years that could push the price of EV battery cells up by more than 20 percent. The price hike comes as Democrats continue to pressure Americans who are concerned with skyrocketing fuel prices to purchase electric vehicles.


White House Weighs Tapping Into Emergency Diesel Reserve

The White House may tap into a rarely used diesel stockpile to lower the prices and address a major supply crunch, reports CNN. The emergency declaration would allow President Joe Biden to tap into the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, as diesel inventories in the Northeast are at record lows in recent weeks due to multiple factors, including the Ukraine war and increased demand. The national average price for a gallon of diesel is $5.55, according to AAA, up from $5.08 a month ago and $3.18 a year ago. The high prices are likely getting passed on to American households and contributing to America's worst inflation crisis in four decades, says CNN. The amount that the president would release from the reserve is one million barrels, which is a small size of the reserve and equal to about a day's worth of supply in the Northeast, according to CNN.



  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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