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March 16, 2023
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 Inside this issue
A Message From Your Association
  A Message From Your Association  
  A Message From Your Association  

Division of Taxation Visits 

Gas Car Ban 

NACS Day on the Hill 

Right to Repair Update 

Laugh of the Day 

Division of Taxation Visits 

A few weeks ago, we asked you if you were having issues with DEP enforcement penalties. It has recently come to our attention that representatives from the state’s Division of Taxation have been making surprise visits to retail businesses looking for any violations they can think of—incorrectly filed or missing paperwork, or any other issue they can find that they can subject you to penalties and fines for. You may not have all of this information on hand at your place of business, and yet it’s possible that they can fine you thousands for not having certain information accessible. We wanted our members to be aware that they are going around the state doing random site inspections, so make double sure that you are in compliance with everything you can think of. If you’ve had problems with visits from the Division of Taxation or DEP, let Nick know at nick@njgca.org. 

Gas Car Ban 

This week, the NJ DEP held their first informational hearing for feedback on the governor’s recent announcement that New Jersey is looking to adopt the California Clean Cars II rule, which would ban the sale of gas powered cars entirely in 2035. It would be a phased-in ban that would begin in just a few years. NJGCA’s position has been that we have no problem with EVs and support our members installing chargers on their business property. However, it’s unfair for the government to completely ban the sale of a product, effectively taking choice away from the consumer. NJGCA was the only one that spoke up at the DEP hearing, as the rest of the meeting was dominated by environmental advocates that want the rule to take effect immediately.   

This week, we read how the Minnesota Service Station & Convenience Store Association, NACS, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, Clean Fuels Development Coalition, and ICM Inc., have filed a lawsuit against the state of Minnesota for its adoption of the same California mandate. Should they be successful, Minnesota may set the precedent for other states to prevent this from happening nationwide. Lance Klatt, executive director of the Minnesota Association said “The state shouldn’t let California tell Minnesotans what kinds of cars they can and can’t buy,” and we are in full agreement. The government is looking to take away consumer options, an option that 95% of current consumers are taking.  

NACS Day on the Hill

Last week Eric was in Washington, DC for the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) day on the hill, a group we work with on many issues affecting fuel and convenience stores at the federal level. They had several hundred people from multiple states come down to meet with their members of Congress. This year, we exclusively focused on promoting the Credit Card Competition Act, which is bipartisan legislation that we have been working on for many years that if it went into effect, would lead to real savings on credit card fees for every business who accepts them. The meetings we took with the members of the New Jersey delegation all went very well. Their staff all seemed sympathetic to retailers, and all knew that credit cards are a heavy burden that has only gotten worse throughout the years. You can tell we are making serious progress, as a group funded by the big banks as well as Visa and Mastercard was running ads in DC (knowing our meeting was happening), attacking convenience stores for all the money that they are allegedly making. Just by chance, we got the thoughts of one of the congressional offices about this argument when we spotted the banks’ propaganda in the recycling bin.  

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Interesting fact found in the Smithsonian Museum

 Right to Repair Update 

Another of our national partners, the Service Station Dealers of America (SSDA), has been rallying industry support and organizing local members to encourage passage of right to repair legislation in states and on the federal level. There are a few updates in the Right to Repair issue out of Maryland, Massachusetts, and Maine that we wanted to update you all on, as the success of this legislation in other states will be paramount in passing similar legislation in New Jersey. 

In Maryland, a bill expanding Right to Repair was heard in a legislative committee last week. The bill addresses the right to repair issue on the state level by requiring a manufacturer that sells motor vehicles with telematics systems to install an open data platform in certain motor vehicles. Meanwhile in Massachusetts, the Attorney General isn’t wasting any more time waiting for the court to go about their process and said the state of Massachusetts will move forward and enforce the Right to Repair law beginning June 1. Voters in Massachusetts already voted in favor of Right to Repair legislation in 2020, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a politician recognize this as an issue of importance and uphold the voters decision. Finally, the fight is just beginning in Maine, with the Maine secretary of state announcing in late February that enough valid signatures were submitted for the “Right to Repair Act” initiative, allowing it to be certified to the Maine State Legislature. The initiative will now await action from the legislature, if they don’t act then the issue will be automatically placed on the ballot this November.  

Your Laugh For The Day 

We had a nice laugh at the NJGCA offices when we came across an article this week criticizing the city of Newark for officially becoming a “sister city” with a Hindu nation…. that doesn’t exist. Earlier this year, Mayor Ras Baraka invited what he thought was the Hindu nation of Kailasa to Newark's City Hall for a cultural trade agreement. Just one problem, “Kailasa” has no real government, and is led (or thought up) by Swami Nithyananda, a notorious scam artist and fugitive from India who has been on the run from rape charges since 2019. A simple Google search would have cleared this all up, something city employees clearly forgot to do. Something else the city employees of Newark could have googled to avoid embarrassment? You may recall a little over a year ago, Newark acted without thought to try to close all Lukoil stations by suspending their licenses in response to the war in Ukraine (Lukoil is a Russian-based company). Had they done even minimal research, they would have found that Lukoil stations are small businesses, run by franchisees and not by Lukoil. Luckily, these stations were never actually forced to close once they realized it would certainly be unconstitutional.  

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  


Legislators Delay Vote On Electric Bill After Flak From Fuel Industry

Two months after a federal firestorm erupted over fears the government would ban gas stoves, a New Jersey campaign deploying similar messaging successfully drove state lawmakers Thursday to yank a bill that would have required the state to create a building electrification plan. Sen. Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset), one of the bill’s prime sponsors, pulled it from a scheduled vote by the Senate’s environment and energy committee because he fielded so many calls about it he wanted to hear critics’ concerns before proceeding. “Let’s make sure we get everything right before we run it through, because too often we run it through and find out there are concerns and then we try to fix it after the fact,” Zwicker told the New Jersey Monitor. Environmentalists denounced the delay, blaming the fuel industry for spreading “lies” to kill the bill.


‘Gas Station Heroin’ Is Addictive And, In Some Cases, Deadly

Tianeptine is marketed as a dietary supplement, a little something to help you relax. But it’s also highly addictive and in some cases, deadly. Its street name is “gas station heroin” and it’s easy to get. It can be purchased online and, as its name suggests, at gas stations and in your neighborhood convenience stores. Just because it’s easy to get doesn’t mean it’s safe to use. Among the ingredients in these so-called dietary supplements is tianeptine, a drug the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns is harmful and addictive. In a statement, the FDA said, in part, “The FDA is committed to doing everything within its resources and authorities to identify and remove unsafe and illegal dietary supplements from the market, however, the FDA currently has no systematic way of knowing what dietary supplements are on the market, when new products are introduced, or what they contain – even if they contain ingredients we have previously acted against. This allows makers of these products to line vape and gas station store shelves with unregulated substances where they get into the hands of anyone young or old with $30.


Porsche Highlights The Merits Of Synthetic Fuels

Germany stalled the European Union's plan to ban the sale of cars powered by an internal-combustion engine in 2035. The nation argues that e-fuels can keep the piston-powered alive, and Porsche stands out as the carmaker that has done most of the heavily lifting to prove that this solution is viable; it notably operates an e-fuel plant in Chile. The company's top executive explained why e-fuels make sense. Speaking during a conference call, Porsche boss Oliver Blume clarified that his team doesn't view synthetic fuels as a replacement for electric technology. "If the e-fuels are approved in the future, this will not change Porsche's strategy. At present, we really back this ramp-up of electrification which we have started, and we now see the great potential of our electric drives. This is the right approach," he told me. What's the deal with e-fuels, then? One possible use case is what Blume calls "niche models." He stopped short of providing an example, but during the call he stressed that the 911 will retain its internal-combustion engine for as long as lawmakers allow it. If gasoline- and diesel-powered cars are outlawed in 2035 (in Europe, at least — it's important to clarify that no such ban has been floated in the United States yet), it's not unreasonable to assume that keeping a flat-six-powered 911 in production beyond that point will require relying on synthetic fuels.


bp Economist Warns of Focusing Too Much on Decarbonization

“2022 taught us that too much focus on the decarbonization agenda led to a mismatch between supply and demand,” said bp’s chief U.S. economist Michael Cohen. “Efforts by the European Union, UK and U.S. to reduce reliance on Russian oil and gas following the invasion of Ukraine laid bare the lack of affordable energy alternatives. U.S. President Joe Biden implored producers to pump more oil to bring down surging prices while countries like Germany burned more coal,” Bloomberg reports. Oil consumption is heading for a record this year, according to the International Energy Agency, with China and demand for jet fuel driving much of the growth. Supply hasn’t kept pace. While bp remains heavily invested in other forms of energy, it has scaled back its withdrawal from oil. It estimates that oil will need investments of more than $400 billion a year until 2050.



  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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