SIGMA has been extremely successful in representing its members’ interests before the federal government.
Renewable Fuels Standard
SIGMA actively and successfully urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use its waiver authority to reduce renewable volume obligations (RVOs) below their statutory levels set by Congress. SIGMA will continue to remain actively engaged in this process and plans to meet with EPA to discuss 2017 RVOs.
SIGMA successfully convinced the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to allow for greater flexibility for high-level fuel blend (E50-E83) labels under its Fuel Rating Rule. Instead of requiring fuel retailers to label high-level blends with the exact percentages of ethanol concentrations ( as FTC initially proposed), under the final rule, retailers may post the exact percentage of ethanol concentration, the percentage rounded to the nearest multiple of ten, or may simply indicate that the fuel contains 51% to 83% ethanol.
Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)
SIGMA effectively worked with EPA to assure that the final UST regulations would not impose onerous tank compatibility certification requirements on retailers and would provide several methods to demonstrate compatibility. Under the final rule, EPA requires tank owners and operators storing any regulated substance blended with greater than 10 percent ethanol or 20 percent biodiesel to demonstrate their tank's compatibility with the fuel stored therein. Importantly, EPA now provides several methods to demonstrate compliance.
Gasoline and Diesel Gallon Equivalents
SIGMA effectively pushed for Congress to modify the Internal Revenue Service's definition of a CNG gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE), which until recently was different from the definition used by the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM). In addition, SIGMA is continuing to advocate for the ability to advertise and sell CNG in diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) and offered a proposal to that effect to the NCWM, which will be considered at NCWM's annual meeting.
Tax Matters - The Biodiesel Blenders' Credit
SIGMA effectively worked to extend the biodiesel blenders' credit through 2017 and fought off efforts to convert the credit from a blenders' credit to a producers' credit.
SIGMA blocked efforts to expand a federal pilot program that would have allowed more states to toll federal interstates. In addition, SIGMA successfully fought against a provision that would have allowed states to divert tolling funds to other improvement projects, which would have incentivized more states to pursue tolling projects.
SIGMA has been an active member of the Merchants Payment Coalition, which works in conjunction with other retailers to promote legislation addressing unfair credit card interchange fees.