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June 23, 2022
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  








Our friends at SSDA sent information in their newsletter recently regarding making sure all federal and state postings are available and visible to employees. Therefore, this is a good time to remind all NJGCA members that you should be posting this information in your repair shops, convenience stores and gas stations. On the federal level, there are five notices that are required by law to be posted and visible to employees: Fair Labor Standards Act; Employee Polygraph Protection Act; Equal Employment Opportunity; Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act; and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. You can learn which are required to be in your business and download and print them for free on the federal Department of Labor website. Additionally, New Jersey has its own set of required posters that need to be downloaded, printed, and posted for employees to see. You can find the link to these on the NJGCA website HERE.


An article recently came across our radar "The 10 Cars Catalytic Converter Thieves Target Most." We have discussed this crime in the past and have given you warnings to watch for this. For those of you with repair shops, this may be a problem for you if you have cars that are left in your parking lot overnight. We have supported legislation that will require scrap dealers to document more information on catalytic converters making it harder for thieves to sell them.  You can read the details of the bill HERE. Currently, the bill has passed two committees in the Senate, but has not moved in the Assembly and hopefully will be voted on by the full Senate soon. 


President Biden has asked Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months in an effort to help ease the prices at the pumps. Congress will ultimately be responsible for deciding action on this. If the legislation passes, the price of gasoline will go down by 18.4 cents a gallon and 24.4 cents a gallon on diesel fuel. Additionally, President Biden has called on states to suspend their own gas taxes, though this is unlikely to happen in New Jersey. This is because not only is there not much support for it, but the legislature will be going on break at the end of June through September, so they would not be able to pass it in time. We likely won't feel the effects of the tax break due to the oil that has already been purchased and in the ground needing to be used; as well as oil companies could offset the tax relief by increasing their prices. Biden has already attempted to combat the high prices by releasing oil from the U.S. strategic reserve and allowing for greater ethanol blending this summer, though neither has had much effect on prices. 


A bill was recently introduced in Trenton pushing for stronger plastic packaging by making sure that large companies use less packaging materials, especially single-use plastic products, and that the packaging they do use is recyclable. The legislation is aimed at companies that make plastic products. Theoretically, this is not supposed to effect convenience stores, only the people that are packaging. However, we still provided testimony on this issue, as we want to make sure the legislation is very clear that it will not affect us or make the products you buy more expensive.      

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  


Did NJ Officials Mislead Public About Costco Gasoline Rule?

It's been over a week since signs appeared at Costco stores in New Jersey announcing that membership would be required for gas purchases starting July 5. It has also been over a week since the state of New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs was asked by New Jersey 101.5 about the legality of such a move. . . Risalvato said Milgram ordered county Weights & Measures officers to visit gas stations in order to make sure pumps were correctly calibrated. Risalvato said inspectors found administrative errors, such as improperly displayed licenses and unavailable credit card receipts, but no summons were issued for problems with calibration. Milgram, however, issued a press release to the contrary, Risalvato said. 


'Just Killing Ourselves': No Days Off For Shore Business Owners With Summer Labor Shortage

New Jersey added 6,700 jobs and its unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in May, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday, as the state continued to dig its way out of the employment hole left by the pandemic. The low jobless rate sets the stage for another summer of labor shortages and all that comes with it: higher wages for workers, longer waits for customers and more work for small business owners. "The demand is there but we don't have the staff to fill all the orders," said Erin Golden, owner of LBI Cleaning, a cleaning service based in Eagleswood. "We're just killing ourselves just to keep the lights on."


White House Exploration Of Gas Rebate Cards Complicated By Chip Shortages

Senior White House aides are exploring new ideas to respond to high gas prices and are looking again at some that they had previously discarded, desperate to show that the administration is trying to address voter frustration about rising costs at the pump. . . . Still, Biden officials are taking a second look at whether the federal government could send rebate cards out to millions of American drivers to help them pay at gas stations - an idea they examined months ago before ruling it out. Aides had found that shortages in the U.S. chip industry would make it hard to produce enough rebate cards, two people familiar with the matter said. White House officials also fear there would be no way to prevent consumers from using them for purchases other than gasoline, according to another person familiar with the discussions. Even if the administration embraces the proposal, it would probably require congressional approval and face long odds among lawmakers wary of spending more money.


There Is Strategy (and History) Behind 9/10 of a Cent Fuel Pricing

Many consumers don't know why fuel retailers list their gas prices ending in 9/10 of a cent, but there is a long history behind the pricing move, and fuel retailers know there is some subtle marketing strategies with 9/10 of a cent as well. . . Looking at it from a price strategy point of view, customers are more likely to feel they're getting a deal if something is set at "just-below pricing" or something ending in 99 cents or 95 cents, according to Robert Schindler, a professor of marketing at the Rutgers School of Business-Camden who researches retail prices and how shoppers process numbers.


Why New Jersey And Oregon Still Don't Let You Pump Your Own Gas

Most Americans facing record gas prices cringe when they fill up their tanks. But not people in New Jersey and Oregon. They're not allowed to touch the gas nozzle. Seriously. In New Jersey, it's been illegal for drivers to pump their own gas since 1949. A ban on self-service gas has been in place in Oregon since 1951, although the state relaxed restrictions for rural towns a few years ago. Violators can be fined up to $500 for breaking these states' laws. So why don't New Jersey and Oregon let you pump your own gas? And what happened to the days of gas station attendants filling up your tanks in the rest of the country? It's a strange, complex history that dates back more than a century.


Can The Global Gasoline And Diesel Crisis Be Solved?

Global diesel and gasoline markets are witnessing blowout crack spreads in the US$50-60 per barrel (bbl) range, reflecting a clear lag in the refining system to respond effectively and decide between supplying diesel or gasoline. The precarious situation is driven by inventory stocks across the globe being at their lowest levels historically and, therefore, unable to provide the necessary shock absorbers. The loss of Russian refining owing to operational outages and product containment challenges has caused a diesel/gasoline hole greater than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in Europe that is not easy to plug, Rystad Energy research shows.


Biden Says Decision On Gas Tax Holiday May Come This Week

President Joe Biden said Monday that he will decide by the end of the week whether he would support a federal gasoline tax holiday, possibly saving U.S. consumers as much as 18.4 cents a gallon. "Yes, I'm considering it," Biden told reporters after taking a walk along the beach near his vacation home in Delaware. "I hope to have a decision based on the data - I'm looking for by the end of the week." The administration is increasingly looking for ways to spare the public from higher prices at the pump, which began to climb last year and surged after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Gas prices nationwide are averaging just under $5 a gallon, according to AAA.


Lawmakers Advance Car Insurance Bill Package Despite Affordability Concerns

A New Jersey Senate panel advanced a legislative package intended to bolster insurance coverage for victims of vehicular accidents - but which critics warned would hike premiums so high, low-income drivers might dump insurance altogether and drive uninsured. Most of those who testified during the nearly three-hour hearing cautioned that mandating more insurance coverage would hurt people already struggling with rising inflation, high gas prices, and other economic fallout from the pandemic. The bill that sparked some of the liveliest debate would raise the minimum amount of personal injury protection drivers must carry on basic and standard car insurance policies to $250,000. That's 16 times higher than the $15,000 minimum now required.


Biden Announces A Likely Doomed Gas Tax Holiday

President Joe Biden on Wednesday called for suspending the federal gasoline tax, in his latest bid to curb rising fuel prices, though it stands almost no chance of passage in Congress. . . The president also urged individual states to suspend their own gas taxes during that period, or seek ways to offer similar discounts from high prices at the pump. It's a reflection of the intensifying political pressure on a White House combating near-record levels of inflation. "A federal gas tax suspension alone won't fix the problem we face," a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday night. "But it will provide families a little breathing room."


Why New Jersey Won't Let You Pump Gas Yourself

No matter the price of gasoline, there are two states in which self-service gas pumping remains illegal. Both New Jersey and Oregon prohibit residents from pumping their own gas largely as a public safety matter - or at least that's what state legislators say about the matter. The finer details, however, are worth reviewing. If you've ever wondered why the two states are anti-self-service, here's a quick look at the legal codes that ban gas stations from letting people pump their own gas. Here's the reasoning behind the decision as well. 


20 Cents More For Credit? How NJ Gas Stations Determine Cash Discount

With prices at the pump nearly $2 higher than where they were just a year ago, gas stations find themselves putting out a lot more money in processing fees, for the same amount of product. . . According to Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience Store and Automotive Association, gas stations pay an average of about 3% in fees on their transactions. So, at $5 per gallon of gasoline for credit transactions, the station would immediately lose 15 cents. A year ago, when the average price was a little more than $3, that 3% would equate to less than 10 cents. "And for those locations that maybe have a contract where they pay 4%, that could be as high today as 20 cents a gallon," Risalvato said. But, stations may choose to "eat" some of those fees in order to remain competitive, Risalvato noted. That's why the difference between cash and credit may be 5 cents at some spots, and 7, 10, or 20 at others. "If there was no cash discount, then everybody would be paying a higher price," he said.


FDA Announces Plans for Proposed Rule on Very Low Nicotine

The Biden Administration has published plans for future potential regulatory actions, including a proposed standard by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would establish a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and certain other combusted tobacco products. The administration said the goal is to reduce youth use, addiction and death. . . Reducing nicotine has been a topic of discussion within the FDA since the 1990s. In 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act authorized the FDA to mandate such a change-with the stipulation that the policy be based on scientific evidence, a caveat that slowed the process for years. Cigarette manufacturers can reduce nicotine by altering the blend of tobacco leaves or use different types of paper or filters. Nicotine can also be stripped from the leaf in the manufacturing process.


Visa, Mastercard Increase Pump Limits

Facing pressure from fuel retailers, the global credit card networks increased their pump pre-authorization limits, as gasoline and diesel prices reach historically high levels. Visa, Mastercard and Discover have all raised their limits to $175. However, this change may not take effect automatically. Retailers may still experience shutoffs and need to contact their processors to authorize the increase to $175. Prior to the new threshold, Visa and Mastercard's pre-authorization limits were $125, and Discover's was $100. American Express does not have limits. Given record-high prices at the pump, an increasing number of customers' fueling transactions have been shut off, and they have had to start a second transaction to complete the fill up. This is not only frustrating and inconvenient for customers, it also means retailers pay more in credit card swipe fees.


N.J. Auto Insurance Rates Could Soar For 1M Drivers Under New Bills, Opponents Warn

Auto insurance reform legislation that sponsors say is needed to help victims of crashes would force more than a million New Jersey drivers to pay hundreds of dollars more each year in premiums, opponents warn. A bill that cleared a key state Senate committee Monday would require drivers in the Garden State to select plans with a minimum of $250,000 in personal injury protection, commonly called PIP - up from the current lowest rate of $15,000. Another would prohibit motorists from using private health insurance coverage as the primary payer for personal injury protection coverage in exchange for an auto insurance discount.


FDA Orders Juul E-Cigarettes Off U.S. Market

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced it will order top-seller Juul to take its e-cigarettes off the shelves in the U.S. market. Why it matters: The move comes amid a push to cap nicotine in cigarettes and signals the Biden administration is escalating its attempt to limit tobacco use in the U.S., Axios' Arielle Dreher reports. The big picture: The decision follows a nearly two-year review by the FDA of Juul's data as the vaping company sought authorization for its products to stay on the U.S. market, according to the Wall Street Journal. Details: The order impacts the JUUL device and four types of JUULpods, the FDA said.



  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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