Energy Marketers of America weekly update on important national industry news
June 24, 2022  [WR-22-25]
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Quick Links to Articles for June 24, 2022

Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Call on the Biden Administration to Address the Truck Driver Shortage

Inside the Beltway Update

FDA Orders Jull E-cigarettes off the Market for Safety Reasons

FDA to Reduce Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes

Weekend Reads

EMA’s Fall Meeting at the NACS Show 2022: September 30-October 1

Federated Insurance Employment Practices Network HR Question of the Month

Articles for June 24, 2022
Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Call on the Biden Administration to Address the Truck Driver Shortage

Today, a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives urged the Biden Administration to address the current CDL Driver Shortage. In a letter, 67 Congressional Members highlighted the need for the Administration to address “new challenges - such as supply chain issues and inflation [that] are plaguing the transportation industry.” Specifically, the bipartisan group encourages the Department of Transportation “to consider modifying the hazardous materials training and testing requirements to focus on HAZMAT specific education.” The letter also encourages the Department to consider streamlining the TSA Security Threat enrollment process that would allow CDL Drivers to enroll in more than one program - Transportation Worker Identification Credential (“TWIC”), HAZMAT, and TSA Pre Check.

Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH), a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, championed the letter. “The American people are hurting from supply chain issues, increased prices at the pump, inflation and more. We must take action to help hardworking Americans. Our letter suggests safe steps that can reduce the supply change backlog by ensuring an uninterrupted delivery of motor fuel products of which our country relies,” said Balderson.

The letter comes a month after the Energy Marketers of America’s (EMA) DC Conference and “Day on the Hill” where EMA state associations discussed issues plaguing the motor fuels industry and encouraged Congressional Members to join the CDL driver shortage letter.

“The HAZMAT truck driver shortage is serious, and as we approach the July 4th weekend travel, EMA looks forward to working with the Administration on providing short term solutions to get qualified HAZMAT truck drivers on the road that will help alleviate prices at the pump. We thank the 67 House lawmakers, especially Congressman Balderson, who elevated this critical issue to top Biden Administration officials,” said EMA President Rob Underwood.

To read the letter, CLICK HERE.

Inside the Beltway Update

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are reportedly getting closer to a deal on a slimmed-down Build Back Better (BBB) bill. The talks, which have accelerated in the past few weeks and have been blessed by other senior Democrats, have revealed new details about what may be in a package. Senator Manchin has made clear that he opposes direct payments to clean energy developers, preferring tax credits instead. Senator Manchin and other Democrats also confirmed that a proposed tax credit bonus for EV vehicles produced with union labor has been scrapped. EMA and other industry leaders fought against this provision during the original BBB discussions last fall. Senator Manchin is also interested in including carbon capture and hydrogen tax credits, increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy, including limited drug-pricing reform, and perhaps extending certain Obamacare health care credits. Most progressive House Democrats have indicated they would vote for any package Manchin supports. However, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), another moderate who opposes tax increases, has been silent about these discussions. As a reminder, any BBB deal needs to come together before September 30.

President Biden officially called for three-month federal gas tax holiday, but Congressional leaders of both parties have criticized such a response, making passage extremely unlikely. Several Democratic governors also criticized the proposal, arguing it would deplete the Highway Trust Fund without solving the underlying energy issues. Republicans called for increased domestic energy production.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a total ban on JUUL products. This is part of FDA’s new approach to electronic cigarettes, over which its authority was formalized through recent Congressional legislation. JUUL intends to appeal and seek a stay in the interim. The FDA also announced plans to slash nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes and would move toward a ban on menthol-flavored cigarettes. More details below. 

FDA Orders Jull E-cigarettes off the Market for Safety Reasons

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that it was denying Juul’s applications to continue selling the company’s e-cigarette device and pre-filled cartridges in menthol and tobacco flavors. The FDA said the company failed to provide sufficient information proving the products were safe, not only for youths but for people of any age. Juul said it would appeal the FDA’s decision.

The FDA issued the Marketing Denial Order (MDO) based on Juul’s own study that raised concerns over possible DNA damage and the potential for harmful chemicals leaching from the pre-filled cartridges that contain liquid nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals.

Juul has several options in response to the FDA’s MDO. The company has already said it will request a stay while the matter is pending. Juul could also sue the FDA in federal appeals court. The FDA typically allows a product to remain on the shelf during appeal of an MDO. Until a stay is granted by either FDA or the federal appeals court, the agency said it will closely monitor Juul distributors and retailers to ensure the sales are halted. If the products are not removed from the market, the agency can issue warning letters, impose fines or conduct seizures.

During the past several months, the agency has ruled on applications involving millions of e-cigarette products and rejected applications from manufacturers seeking to restart sales of sweet and fruity vapes. But the FDA has lagged at completing reviews involving some of the market leaders, angering anti-tobacco groups and some members of Congress. Nearly 50 companies have sued the FDA because of its decisions on their products.

FDA to Reduce Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes

On Tuesday, the Biden Administration announced plans to issue a proposed product standard by May 2023 that would establish a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and certain other combusted tobacco products. A product standard is a power granted to the FDA under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to reduce or eliminate an ingredient in a tobacco product or a constituent in tobacco smoke. The Administration has not identified which other products other than cigarettes will be subject to a maximum nicotine level in the proposed rule.

Tuesday’s announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was part of the Spring 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory actions report on the actions administrative agencies are considering issuing in the near and long term.

To propose a new regulation, a federal agency is required to follow a nine-step process which involves proposing a new regulation, drafting the regulation, having the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review the regulation if it is economically significant, publish the proposed regulation for public comment, review all public comments, make any changes deemed necessary to the regulation, obtain final White House OMB approval, and publish the final regulation with an effective date. The FDA is currently on the first step of this nine-step process.

Weekend Reads:

Biden’s incredible shrinking infrastructure plan

Biden Is Still Trying to Ban Federal Oil, Gas Leasing

U.S. refiners to urge White House not to ban fuel exports -sources

EIA expects significant increases in wholesale electricity prices this summer  

Oil markets are heading for an 'insanely difficult' summer, with Russian production plunging under EU sanctions

Surge in U.S. renewable diesel supply won't offset loss of petroleum diesel

EMA’s Fall Meeting at the NACS Show 2022: September 30-October 1
Hotel Reservations Open! Special EMA Members Code for NACS Show Registration

EMA will hold its Fall Meeting in conjunction with the NACS Show on September 30-October 1 at the Sahara Las Vegas. Registration for the EMA Fall Meeting will open next month. You can find all available details, including EMA’s Fall Meeting Conference Schedule (September 30-October 1), EMA Housing link and NACS Show registration for EMA Members by CLICKING HERE.

Registration is now open for the 2022 NACS Show in Las Vegas September 30 – October 4! The Early Bird Special is available for Energy Marketers of America members (even if you are also a member of the NACS) through July 1 by CLICKING HERE. When prompted, enter the EMA NACS Show Registration Code: EMANS2022. EMA encourages you to promote and share with your state association’s member companies.

Federated Insurance Employment Practices Network HR Question of the Month

Federated Insurance’s HR Question of the Month focuses on employment-related practices liability issues. This month’s question is: Employee Hygiene Issues Approach? We have a newer employee who doesn’t appear to be bathing. It is a touchy situation, but the manager came to me and asked what he should do. He directly supervises the employee and is open to talking to him but wanted guidance on the best way to approach the situation. Please click here to read the response.

For additional information or to discuss this in further detail, please contact your regional representative or EMA’s National Account Executive Jon Medo at 800.533.0472 for any additional information or risk management questions. Federated is a Partner in EMA’s Board of Directors Council.

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