Petrogram - Spring 2011 - (Page 25)
Our Time Is Now
ere we are, starting another year facing uncertainty. We have a president with limited experience, a new Congress, a new governor, a new attorney general, a new commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, a new state Senate and a new House of Representatives. J. Michael Huey, There will soon be a new secretary for the Esq. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, as well as new secretaries of the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Department of Community Affairs. While we continue to experience a nationwide economic downturn, we have just been informed that we have a $3.5 billion dollar shortfall in the state budget. At a time like this, small entrepreneurs – and even large ones – can have big doubts about the future and what it holds for them.
Why FPMA? Because FPMA has an ongoing reputation as the leader of the state petroleum industry and because no other organization represents our interests in Florida or the capitol.
One thing is for certain: there needs to be some changes. The president and Congress must ﬁnd a way to provide the public some with piece of mind and show us that they are not sailing our ship – and our lives – into a treacherous reef. In Florida, the governor and Legislature must ﬁnd the resources to balance our budget in a way that doesn’t destroy our businesses or our incentive for continuing our businesses. A review of polls reveals we don’t have much faith in Congress or any state Legislature – or virtually any politician. So, what are we going to do? We need leadership. We need direction. We need ﬁnancial discipline. We need unity. And, while we need these things on a state and national political level, we must have them within our industry. Only if we have our house in order can we eﬀectively deal with the economic, regulatory and tax challenges at our doorstep.
In order to be in a position, as the leaders of the petroleum industry, to deal with the huge challenges ahead, we need to take a long, hard look at FPMA and revamp, retool and recommit. What will this take? Our time, our personal commitment, our company commitment and our money. Why FPMA? Because FPMA has an ongoing reputation as the leader of the state petroleum industry and because no other organization represents our interests in Florida or the capitol. The stakes for petroleum marketers are too high: being faced with increasing crude oil and wholesale prices, a changing fuel market, increased hurdles to construction, increasing and varying taxes, increasing convenience store safety and liability, increasing petroleum contamination liability, decreasing insurance availability and a host of other issues. These are our issues. Th is is our livelihood. Only through FPMA, with one commitment and one clear voice, will we successfully weather the storm of issues ahead. As I have witnessed over the past 40 years of representing some of the best trade and professional organizations in the state, there is a direct relationship between the time and commitment of the members and the eﬀectiveness of the organization. There are several major things we – through FPMA – have accomplished while I have had the pleasure of being associated with you. We conceived, drafted and caused the enactment of the below-cost sales prohibition for motor fuel, in spite of the fact that it was opposed by almost every major oil company in the country and that the major oil companies employed almost 20 lobbyists and outspent FPMA by tens of thousands of dollars. We, in the face of a statewide panic regarding motor fuel leaks from underground storage tanks, convinced the governor and state Legislature that this was a “public” issue that needed to be addressed outside of the civil liability arena, as well as helped write the trust fund legislation that granted amnesty to companies turning in their contaminated sites. We insisted on state pre-emption for UST regulation, drafted the language to accomplish this, successfully lobbied the passage of the legislation and, later, successfully sued a county that
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petrogram - Spring 2011
Petrogram - Spring 2011
Meet Your New Executive Director
FPMA Chapter Meetings Are a Success!
FPMA Member Spotlight
You’ve Been Sued and Your Insurance Company Denied the Claim: Now What?
Out & About the Industry
How Health Care Reform Will Aff ect Your Business
Create Competitive Disruption Th rough the “8 Ps”
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
FPMA Featured Advertiser Marketplace
Petrogram - Spring 2011