This week, the main event was House passage of H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act. The bill, which would expand oil and gas drilling and roll back environmental protections, including major pieces of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, is, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), dead on arrival in the Senate. Still, House Republicans can use this as a political marker for the rest of the 118th Congress, especially as gas prices will likely remain a very hot topic in the next election cycle. While this is largely a messaging bill for republicans, H.R. 1 received four democratic votes, making it the first time H.R. 1, a bill number always reserved for the Speaker’s top priority, has received bipartisan support since 2007.New Treasury Department Rules Limit Electric Vehicle (EV) Tax Credit
In addition, the Senate voted 53-43 to repeal the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule that was implemented by the Biden Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency. A major point of contention since it was introduced in 2021, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the rule was not a “commonsense conservation measure,” but instead that it was a “radical power grab that would give federal bureaucrats sweeping control over nearly every piece of land that touches a pothole, ditch, or puddle.” Still, despite its bipartisan passage in the Senate, this move is largely symbolic as the President has promised to veto any legislation that would repeal the rule.
Separately this week, the Energy Marketers of America (EMA) joined more than 150 groups to support the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2023. Led by Senate Minority Whip John Thune, if passed, the bill would do exactly as is stated in the title and would repeal the estate tax that is defined by the IRS as a tax “on your right to transfer property at your death.” While perhaps not the purpose of the tax, many family-run farms and other family-owned businesses are often impacted by these taxes and, in many cases, families must sell the business in order to satisfy the tax obligation. This repeal would let families retain assets and ownership of their businesses for generations. Opponents say that this is a handout for the wealthy, but while it may impact wealthy individuals as well, the principle is the same—why shouldn’t a person be able to provide for their families into the future? This legislation has a tough path forward in a Democratically controlled Senate; however, the House would likely pass it if given the opportunity.
The Biden Administration has released new rules that will significantly shorten the list of electric vehicles that qualify for federal tax credits. The rules, issued by the Treasury Department, are a result of the Inflation Reduction Act and designed to encourage consumers to turn away from fossil fuels in favor of EVs. Automakers must meet strict requirements for where they assemble the cars and batteries and where they get the materials that go into batteries for their vehicles to qualify for the $7,500 credit. To be eligible, at least 50 percent of the components in an EV battery must be made in North America while 40 percent of the minerals used must be sourced domestically. The minerals quota will rise every year until it reaches 80 percent by 2027, and the component quota will climb to 100% in 2029. Carmakers must certify to the IRS whether their vehicles meet the components and minerals requirements.EMA Sends Letter to Congress in Support of NORA Reauthorization
Some vehicles may qualify for only half the credit if they meet the component quotas but not the minerals quotas and vice versa. Only a handful of vehicles are expected to qualify for the full credit when the rules go into effect April 18, down from 21 that currently qualify. Hyundai and Kia cars made in South Korea no longer qualify for the credit. Under the new rule only the Tesla Model 3 will qualify for the credit. Consumers are likely to wait until more vehicles become eligible for the credits in a few years before making the switch to EVs. However, a loophole in the law allows companies to collect the credits if they lease them even if the cars do not meet sourcing and manufacturing requirements. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is threatening to sue the administration over the new rules. Manchin opposes the graduated percentages for domestically sourced components and minerals claiming it is contrary to the intent of the law and subsidizes foreign manufacturing. Click here for more information.
Today, EMA and its oilheat state associations sent a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee leadership in support for a five-year extension of the National Oilheat Research Alliance (“NORA”) through October 1, 2033. NORA was first authorized in 2000, via title VII of the Energy Act of 2000, to provide funding that would allow the liquid heating industry to provide more efficient and reliable heat and hot water to the American consumer. NORA was reauthorized in the 2014 and 2018 FARM bills. EMA’s state associations will be needed again to secure another 5-year extension into 2033. Click here to read the letter.Biden Administration Approves California’s Electric Truck Mandate
Today, the EPA approved California’s rule to start phasing out gas-powered heavy-duty vehicles. Also, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Washington and Oregon have already moved to adopt the rule even though some lack the electric vehicle charging infrastructure to support new electric trucks.Regulatory Reminder: IRS Diesel fuel and Kerosene Dispenser Label Requirements
Adopted in 2020, the Advanced Clean Trucks Rule requires manufacturers to sell increasing shares of zero-emissions trucks before 2035, getting to 55 to 75 percent of truck sales, depending on the type, and 44 percent of tractor-trailer sales. The California Air Resources Board will vote in April on a rule requiring all sales of new trucks to be zero-emission by 2040. Click here for the article.
The IRS requires all untaxed diesel fuel or untaxed kerosene dispensers to display specific labels describing the product and their taxable status and use. The IRS requires these labels to contain specific language that may not be altered or shortened in any way. EPA dispenser labels for low sulfur products are not a substitute for the IRS labels. The fine for failure to display the proper IRS label is $10 per gallon for every gallon contained in the storage tank at the time of violation. IRS enforcement of the dispenser label requirement is aggressive and ongoing. Click here to read the Regulatory report.
Credit Card Fees Could Swipe a Dozen Easter Eggs and Cost Consumers Over $500 Million | Merchants Payments Coalition
The Paper-Thin Steel Needed to Power Electric Cars Is in Short Supply | WSJ
EMA’s annual Washington Conference and Day on the Hill will be held in Washington, DC from May 10-12 at The Mayflower Hotel. Our industry continues to have dozens of important legislative and regulatory issues to discuss and the Day on the Hill remains the primary focus of this conference for you to meet with your members of Congress and network with other marketers from across the country!Federated Insurance Risk Management Academy Webinar
You can find all conference details by CLICKING HERE from how to make your hotel reservations, to viewing the conference schedule and registering with secure event payment processing. Hotel reservations will close on April 18 6:00pm Eastern or when the room block is sold out. Registrations must be received by April 28 to be included in our hotel guarantee.
Improving Driver Safety Using Telematics: Tuesday, April 21, 2023, 1:00 p.m. CST
In this session, CMT’s Director of Marketing, Matt Fiorentino, will talk about how telematics helps protect you, your employees, and your business. He’ll discuss the most frequent questions he hears from customers, including best practices and privacy. He’ll also touch on how behavior change programs have helped reduce risk on the road and how you can offer similar programs for your employees.
What you will learn:
Why you should care about telematics
How to market your telematics program
How to engage your employees to improve driving safety
Telematics incentive structures that work
Advanced registration is required for this 30-minute webinar.
For additional information or to discuss this in further detail, please contact your Federated regional representative or EMA’s National Account Executive Jon Medo at 800.533.0472. Federated is a Partner in EMA’s Board of Directors Council.