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October 20, 2022
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 Inside this issue
A Message From Your Association
  A Message From Your Association  
  A Message From Your Association  

NJGCA's New Healthcare Plan: Register to Join Our Webinar

Big Oil Under Attack Over High Gas Prices

What's Going on in the Marketplace?

Catalytic Converter Theft Legislation Passes NJ Senate

Class C Program - Are Your Attendants Trained?

Happy Diwali!

Health Insurance Webinar

Many members have been asking for more options when it comes to the soaring cost of health insurance, even if they are only looking to cover themselves. We have partnered with our friends at World Insurance, who have long been our trusted providers for our Workers Comp Insurance Program, to create a new Health Plan designed for and exclusive to NJGCA members. This Tuesday, October 25th at 12PM, NJGCA will be hosting a free webinar with World Insurance to inform our members about a new healthcare option which promises meaningful savings for many. Click HERE to register for the webinar to find out more about the program.

Big Oil Under Attack

As gas prices continue to increase so close to the election, it has become a hot button political issue that is getting more attention. More politicians, especially Democrats, are targeting the industry broadly for being responsible for high prices. Most of the attacks have been focused on big oil companies rather than retailers. Many (but not all) have been trying to make the distinction that they are complaining about big oil and not station owners.

Just this week, the New Jersey Attorney General announced a lawsuit against Exxon and other big oil companies claiming that they lied about fossil fuels and their effect on climate change. Further, they claim if it hadn't been for the efforts of the big oil industry, society would have dropped oil decades ago (which is quite the stretch in logic...). 

Yesterday, President Biden made more remarks about gas prices, bringing it back into national headlines. He announced he would release even more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to try to lower prices. While lowering prices is good for public image ahead of elections, releasing more oil is concerning to NJGCA and other experts as the SPR is getting to dangerously low levels, which gives the nation less flexibility to deal with a genuine crisis in the future (like a war). Thankfully, the Biden Administration did announce a plan mirroring what many experts have suggested for months-that SPR will make a guarantee to domestic oil companies that they will refill the SPR and they will pay $70 a barrel for oil, even if the market price is below that level. This will help promote domestic drilling after hesitation from oil companies to make investments. They are afraid that by the time domestic wells come on line, the price of oil will have fallen so much they will not be able to get their investment back. So this plan to guarantee them a price should help solve that issue and encourage more domestic supply. 

Unfortunately, President Biden also reiterated his claims implying that it's not just oil companies that are unfairly responsible for high prices, but also refiners and station owners. He unfairly threw our members in with the refining companies (who have been making extraordinary profits the last few months). He claimed that if refiners and stations were making the same level of profit that they had on average over the last 17 year, prices would be 60 cents a gallon lower. The president fails to take into account not just that a lot of that extra money is going to refiners, but also that stations have to take on many other business expenses such as higher credit card fees, higher cost of labor, and the fact that they sell fewer gallons overall, so the margin per gallon has to be higher in order to keep the doors open. 

Marketplace Update

As you've probably noticed, the rack price of gas has come down the last few days after spiking briefly at the beginning of the month. However, the price of diesel has not only continued to increase, but has done so dramatically over the last two weeks or so. The gap between the average cost of diesel and average cost of gasoline has been over $2 a gallon for the last week or so. Normally, a $1 dollar difference is considered a massive gap. Before the fuel crisis that started in March with the Russian invasion, there was a long stretch where diesel rack prices without taxes was the same as gasoline prices. It is expected this is being driven by fears of shortages, especially in this part of country. Parts of New Jersey and much of New England rely on heating oil. Even as prices for gas are leveling off, diesel is what trucks use to ship groceries and products. In terms of driving inflation, these gigantic prices make a huge difference. Getting closer to $6 a gallon with taxes wholesale is a big, expensive problem that will be passed on to everyone. If you sell diesel, you may want to talk to your suppliers and have them assure you you'll get supply in the event of shortages and further price spikes. However, it's also possible the prices will fall and fall very fast if shortages do not develop, in which case you could be stuck with too much product you bought at a price well above the market. It's a tough game to play and we will continue to watch the market to bring you the best advice possible. 

Catalytic Converter Thefts

We've talked before about legislation to crack down on catalytic converter thefts that has been kicked around Trenton for a while. We are pleased to report that on Monday, it was voted on in the state Senate and passed unanimously. We sent a letter voicing our support of the legislation which we have made available for you to read HERE. The bill has not moved through the Assembly yet, but we are hoping it will soon since it has already passed one legislative body.

Class C Operator Training

It's been a few years since we released our Class C program, and it's about time we reminded you how valuable our training program is! Any time you hire a new attendant, you are legally obligated to make sure they are trained as a Class C operator or face financial penalties.  The entire training only takes about an hour of time, and is a quick and easy tool to make sure your attendants are up to speed on all the working parts of the station. Why risk thousands over a quick and inexpensive training that only takes an hour? Click HERE to go to our site on the training program.

Happy Diwali!

This upcoming Monday starts the holiday of Diwali, known as the festival of lights. We want to wish all of our members who celebrate a wonderful holiday, and for those of you who are interested in learning more about what the holiday is and what it means for those who celebrate, you can click HERE to learn more. 

Be Well-

Your Association Staff



  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 615 Hope Road, Building 2, 1st Floor, Eatontown, NJ 07724

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. Labor Department Proposes to Redefine Gig Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor has released a proposal on how an employee is classified in an effort to help employers and workers determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The rule would replace a Trump-era standard that had made it easier to classify employees as contractors. The proposed standard could make it difficult for companies that rely on gig workers to deny them minimum wage and benefits, reports the Associated Press. Under the proposed rule, employers would need to decide whether an independent contractor's work is an integral part of the business. The former ruling included more-limited criteria for which a contractor's work impacted the business and gave more weight to other considerations such as the worker's opportunity to make a profit or loss.


Tax Hikes, Service Cuts Coming, Officials Warn

A big year-over-year increase in public employee health benefit costs could soon trigger increased property-tax bills, layoffs or painful service cuts in many of New Jersey's counties and municipalities unless state government intervenes with direct cash assistance. That was the dire warning issued by numerous county and municipal government officials from across the state who spoke during a lengthy news conference held Wednesday. For many, they said the timing could not be any worse since the pending health premium increases - which are hitting both employees and their taxpayer-funded government employers - are coming as the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation are already straining county and municipal government resources.


Here's Why Convenience Stores Aren't Rushing To Replace Gas Pumps With EV Chargers

Gas stations with convenience stores seem like an obvious location for electric vehicle chargers. Drivers could grab a drink or snack while waiting for their vehicle to charge. But despite available federal funding to build EV chargers, many stores aren't biting. The reason? High electric utility fees on charging stations make them unappealing - and unprofitable - for convenience store owners. The bipartisan infrastructure bill is providing $7.5 billion to help pay for electric vehicle chargers that could help gradually replace gas pumps. But sky-high fees combined with competition from utilities and spotty electric vehicle uptake have dampened interest from convenience stores in building out this essential infrastructure. Charging four vehicles at once at a station could cost the operator $250,000 a year in supplemental fees, called demand charges, according to Jigar Shah, Head of Energy Services at Electrify America, which operates the largest public charger network in the US.


Environmentalists Say NJ Transit's Plan To Add 550 Diesel Buses Will Make Air Pollution Worse In Cities

A proposed purchase of 550 new buses could be the last run for diesel buses on NJ Transit. But advocates for people living in cities with high levels of air pollution and respiratory diseases say that purchase shouldn't happen. Environmental justice advocates interviewed by NJ Advance Media said they'd rather see the agency purchase electric buses. A request for proposals from bus manufacturers was issued by NJ Transit to replace the oldest buses in the massive fleet of transit and suburban style buses built by North American Bus Industries over the past decade. NJ Transit's proposal calls for 550 "clean diesel" buses that officials say adhere to the Tier 4 federal emissions standards, the strictest EPA emissions requirements.


IRS Changes Tax Brackets For 2023: What It Means For You

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is raising income tax brackets and the standard deduction for the 2023 tax year, among other changes, to adjust for inflation. For many taxpayers, this means you will keep more of your money. The agency has increased the income thresholds for each bracket, which will apply for the 2023 tax year for tax returns filed in 2024. The tax rates will remain the same even though the income limits that apply to each rate have been changed.


Pot Is Coming To U.S. Gas Stations

Gas, weed, and munchies will be available at the same place soon. Cannabis retailer Green Thumb says it will be bringing cannabis products to gas stations in Florida. The company says it has come to an agreement with Circle K to lease space inside its stores to roll out "RISE Express" branded dispensaries. The plan is to test the concept at approximately ten of the company's convenience stores in Florida.  If everything goes well it could be expanded to some of the other 600 Circle K locations across the state. The "RISE Express" stores will carry branded cannabis products including pre-rolled joints, gummies, and vapes.


NJ Has A Car Parts Shortage - Industry Unsure When Trend Will End
Last week, we reported on a time-honored New Jersey statute that empowers vehicle owners to retain their damaged parts after a car repair. Turns out they might really need them. Supply chain snags that have bounced from industry to industry since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic are now affecting car parts, according to automotive experts.



  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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