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September 1, 2022
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 Inside this issue
A Message From Your Association
  A Message From Your Association  
  A Message From Your Association  








In case you didn't see the dedicated announcement yesterday: NJGCA, under the direction of its Board of Directors, is announcing a restructuring of the organization. Sal Risalvato is stepping away from the association after more than 15 years at the helm. We thank him for the years of service and wish him well as he spends more time with his family, especially his grandchildren.  

The Association has also decided to promote Eric Blomgren, who has worked at NJGCA for almost 12 years, to the new position of Chief Administrator, where among other new duties he will also direct our Government Affairs efforts.   

Finally, NJGCA is in the final stage of moving our offices. We ask everyone please update their records and note our new mailing address effective today: 615 Hope Road, Bldg. 2, 1st Floor, Eatontown, NJ 07724 

NJGCA was founded 85 years ago, and the Board is confident that the Association has a bright future ahead as we continue to serve the small businesses that serve the motorist. 

Members can always feel free to reach out anytime to NJGCA President and Member Liaison Joe Ocello at Joe@njgca.org, to Eric at Eric@njgca.org, Director of Member Services Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org, Director of Communications Michelle Horowitz Jackson at Michelle@njgca.org, or Director of Operations Greg Cannon at Greg@njgca.org. 

Anyone can be reached by phone at 732-256-9646. 


The State announced Monday afternoon that the petroleum products gross receipts tax will decrease by one cent per gallon for both gasoline and diesel fuel starting October 1st.  There's nothing stations need to do to prepare for these adjustments, the tax will automatically be passed on through fuel purchases starting October 1st. You can read more HERE. The Treasurer's office predicts there will be more gallons of fuel sold through the current fiscal year (through next June) as pandemic fears continue to loosen their grip on the nation. Hopefully they are correct. If not, we will likely see an increase in the gas tax again come October 2023. If you keep up with our Road Warrior newsletter, you may remember we recently predicted that if the annual adjustment was going to be a decrease it would be announced in a timely fashion to soak up attention. This announcement was made on Monday afternoon, whereas if an increase was to be announced, they would have likely made the announcement on Friday before Labor Day weekend as they have in the past. 


Big in the news since the last Road Warrior is the story that California formerly passed a plan to eliminate the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles in the near future. All new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the state must be electric vehicles (battery or hydrogen) or plug-in electric hybrids by 2035. The timeline proposes that by 2026, 35% percent of new cars and trucks sold in the state must be zero-emission, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen-powered vehicles, rising to 68% in 2030 and 100% by 2035. Currently, 16% of all new car sales in California are zero-emission vehicles. If not enough consumers choose to buy these vehicles, manufacturers will be fined. In a most timely move, just days after this announcement, the California utility grid operator asked residents to avoid charging their electric vehicles due to the power grid being under strain from extreme heat and high demand. This leaves many questions as to how the state will be able to reconcile the increase in energy demand as EV demand increases. While New Jersey climate policy often closely follows California's lead, a NJ Spotlight article published this week suggests that the state may (hopefully) break tradition with this most recent decision. New Jersey legislators are committed to climate change policies, however, data from a recent survey suggests that almost half of U.S. voters say they would oppose in their own states, with only a third in support. This will likely be a hot-button issue in the next several years in New Jersey, though adoption will be highly debated and slow going if enacted.


The U.S. Energy Secretary urged domestic oil refiners to not further increase exports of fuels. High U.S. oil product exports have been a concern for the Biden Administration this summer as gasoline prices briefly hit an all-time high around $5 a gallon, adding to the cause of inflation rising to 40-year highs. The article suggests there may even be fuel shortages coming to the Northeast in the near future with already low gasoline levels in the area and putting gasoline and heating oil reserves on standby. The main risk seems to be diesel supplies, as it is tied to heating oil needs come winter season and will already see affected supply due to the Russian invasion.

Tuesday's OPIS Rack average with taxes puts the average price of gas at just under $3.26 which is the lowest it's been since February 2022. This means the rack price was officially below what it was when the Russian invasion of Ukraine started, although diesel remains about a dollar a gallon higher than it was in February of last year (before invasion started). Also, this week was the first time the OPIS average retail price for gas in New Jersey fell below $4 a gallon since March 4th. 


The State Attorney General announced several environmental lawsuits filed on behalf of the Department of Environmental Protection, focusing on polluted sites and allegations ranging from claims of soil and groundwater contamination to reportedly operating a tainted property near a child care center. You can read more about the lawsuits filed HERE. The Attorney General's office has been increasingly filing these types of lawsuits against businesses every few weeks for pollution that occurred long in the past. They have targeted service stations or former stations, sometimes even several decades after the business is sold, to enact a variety of remedies for the pollution including clean-up of the tainted properties, payment to the state of civil penalties, compliance with administrative orders previously issued by DEP, and reimbursement to the state for the cost of site investigation, remediation, and monitoring. This just goes to show you that the state will always enforce environmental compliance, in at least one suit they were going after the estate of an owner who moved to Florida and had died a decade ago-even if you are dead the state will come after you looking to collect!


In news from across the pond; last week London police arrested 137 protestors from the environmental group Just Stop Oil throughout the week as the activists targeted and 'decommissioned' pumps at seven gas stations across London. Protestors smashed screens, covered pumps with spray paint and blocked pump entrances to drum up news before their arrests, demanding the government end new oil and gas projects in the UK. We will be keeping an eye on this, hopefully we don't see this level of extremism in NJ, but we need to be prepared should these efforts make their way to the United States.


For our members that sell cigarettes, a recent article this week notes that for the first time in polling history more Americans (16%) said they smoke marijuana than had smoked a tobacco cigarette (11%) in the past week. As more states are scheduled to vote on marijuana legislation this election day, this data seems timely. We continue to keep our ears to the ground in New Jersey as far as the sale of marijuana recreationally and what this means both for our convenience stores as well as the employees we have at our businesses. It's also further proof of the long-term decline in cigarette smoking, which has long been a cornerstone for many small businesses. 

Finally, the staff at NJGCA hope our members enjoy the holiday weekend.

Your Association Staff




  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  


NJ Health Official Cautions Against Use Of Unregulated Cannabis Cousin

Before recreational marijuana became legal in New Jersey earlier this year, a similar product that is technically considered hemp was being sold across the Garden State, in head shops, convenience stores and even in some gas stations. The product known as delta-8 is derived from the same plant as marijuana, but according to Dr. Diane Calello, the executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, there are some important differences.


California E.V. Mandate Finds a Receptive Auto Industry

For years, as California has moved ahead with ambitious clean-air regulations, the state has had to prod the auto industry to go along. Now, in the push to electrify the nation's car fleet, it is California that is keeping up with automakers. Even before state regulators acted Thursday to ban sales of new internal-combustion vehicles by 2035, Detroit's Big 3 and their international rivals were setting increasingly aggressive targets for exclusively electric product lines. But while the goals of automakers and regulators are aligned, mass production of affordable electric cars - which requires reconceiving the supply chains and engineering developed for internal-combustion vehicles - will not be easy.


Middletown Hit By Rash Of Catalytic Converter Thefts This Week

Middletown has been hit by a rash of catalytic converter thefts this week, said police on Friday. On Wednesday night, there were six attempts to steal catalytic converters from parked cars, notably in Port Monmouth and North Middletown. Four of the attempts were successful and the converter was stolen, said Middletown Police spokesman Deputy Chief Paul Bailey.


Thieves Across America Are Stealing Hyundais And Kias In Seconds

It can take as little as under a minute to steal some Hyundai and Kia models, and it's happening all across the country. Why it matters: The widespread problem is attributed to design flaws in the cars, forcing owners to resort - for now - to an old-fashioned steering wheel lock if they want to keep their vehicles safe. Hyundai is telling customers that if they want a specialized security kit to protect their vehicle, they'll need to pay for it. The equipment, a "starter interrupt and siren" that "targets the method of entry thieves are using," will be available starting Oct. 1 for Hyundai vehicles at an undisclosed cost, Hyundai said in a statement. Kia says it is not offering a security kit at this time.


Sen. Marshall Visits Kansas QuikTrip, Talks Swipe Fees

Merchants from across Kansas met with Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) last Friday to emphasize how lack of competition over credit card processing drives up prices paid by consumers and thanked him for introducing the bipartisan Credit Card Competition Act. Marshall hosted a roundtable with a number of Kansas retailers to discuss the bill he introduced, and the meeting was followed by a NACS In Store visit to a QuikTrip location where he worked behind the counter. "It just amazes me, a convenience store like this one, is that they're paying more for swipe fees than they are for utilities," said Marshall during his QuikTrip visit, reports KAKE.com.


California Steps on the Gas With Zero-Emission Vehicle Rule

Late last week, the California Air Resources Board passed a plan that requires all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the state to be electric vehicles or plug-in electric hybrids by 2035, reports the New York Times. Currently, 16% of all new car sales in California are zero-emission vehicles. The plan is a phased approach. By 2026, 35% percent of new cars and trucks sold in the state must be zero-emission, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen-powered vehicles, and the benchmarks rise to 68% in 2030 and 100% by 2035. The rule doesn't apply to used cars and trucks, and they can continue to be sold in the state after 2035, and gas-powered vehicle owners can still drive their vehicles in the state. California will enforce these rules by fining automakers $20,000 per new vehicle sold if they do not comply with the rule.


California Fast-Food Operators Fight Wage Bill

Fast-food restaurants in California have banded together against a bill passed by the state legislature that would set wages for fast-food workers in the state, reports the Wall Street Journal. The bill has been sent to California Governor Gavin Newsom for signature, but it has not been confirmed if he will sign it. The bill, known as the Fast Act, creates a government panel that would set hourly wages for fast-food workers of up to $22 beginning next year. The wages can increase annually by the same as the consumer-price index, up to a maximum of 3.5%.



  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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