NEWS FROM THE US NEWS FROM THE UNITED STATES BY KRISTEN WRIGHT MANAGING EDITOR, PEI The U.S. bursts through the hypothetical “blend wall” as gasoline sold nationwide in 2016 contained more than 10 percent ethanol. A New York City plan to extinguish smoking could raise the cost of cigarettes to $13 a pack. Texas builds the world’s longest carwash. And PEI publishes the 2017 update to its recommended practices for underground storage tanks (USTs). These are petroleum industry headlines from the U.S. U.S. Tears Down Blend Wall U.S. gasoline consumers filled their tanks with more than 10 percent ethanol on average for the first time in 2016, according to an April report. Many experts had said a 10 percent marketplace blend wall for U.S. ethanol content was impenetrable. The analysis of U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) tells otherwise. “EIA’s data once again shows that the oil industry’s blend wall narrative is bankrupt, intended only to mislead consumers and undermine support for the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “The facts provide a different narrative. Ethanol is the lowest cost and cleanest burning source of octane today. Driven by the RFS and attractive blending economics, domestic refiners and blenders used more ethanol in 2016 than ever before and it’s likely that trend will continue this year. Consumers are gravitating toward E15, E85 and other mid-level blends where they are available. The oil industry can no longer claim the blend wall is any barrier to the effective implementation of the RFS.” This breaking of the blend wall reflects the growing consumption of E15, mid-level blends and flex fuels in the United States. NY Mayor: Cigarettes Rising to $13 a Pack New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in April several bills to reduce smoking within the city’s five boroughs during the next four years. The bill getting the most attention would raise the minimum cost of a pack of cigarettes in New York City from $10.50 to $13. In addition, the measures would add a 10 percent tax to other tobacco products, cut the number of tobacco retailers through attrition, require licensing of e-cigarette retailers and ban the selling of tobacco products in pharmacies.The mayor said his goal is to get 160,000 of the 900,000 smokers in New York City to kick their habit by 2020. Texas Convenience Store Chain Plans World’s Longest Carwash Buc-ee’s, the Texas-sized C-store chain known for its clean restrooms and “bigger is better” branding strategy, is building the world’s longest carwash in Katy, Texas. The length of the tunnel will be 225 feet when it is finally completed. A Houston Chronicle article reported that the store will be between 50,000 and 60,000 square feet and have 100 gas pumps. The travel plaza is in its final stages of construction and is expected to open this summer. Buc-ee’s has 37 locations across Texas and another planned in Daytona Beach, Florida. The company was founded in 1982 by Arch “Beaver” Aplin III and Don Wasek. PEI Updates Recommended Practices for Underground Storage Tanks The 2017 edition of PEI/RP100: Recommended Practices for Installation of Underground Liquid Storage Systems is available for purchase at www.pei.org/rp100. The purchase price is $40 for PEI members and $95 for non-members. “PEI is offering the petroleum and liquid handling equipment industry the latest update to this peer-reviewed technical document,” said Rick Long, general manager of PEI. “Of the two comprehensive installation codes of practice mentioned in the federal regulations on USTs and piping, only PEI/ RP100 has been updated regularly during the past 30 years.” The 2017 edition is the ninth revision of PEI/ RP100 since it was published originally in 1986. This latest version replaces the 2011 edition. After reviewing more than 30 public comments, the PEI Tank Installation Committee created the 2017 edition to be easier to read, clarified several items and included significant changes in recommendations. Of note in the 2017 edition: • Vent restriction devices (ball float valves) no longer are an installation option. • Appendix C provides new resources on corrosion in underground storage tanks (USTs) storing diesel and ethanol fuel blends. • The 2017 edition lists double-walled spill buckets as an installation option to consider. • Updates include procedures, measurements and time requirements for containment sump testing. • The committee rewrote, reorganized and expanded the 2011 “Release Detection” chapter into a new “Leak Detection” chapter with practices for double-walled tanks and piping. • The committee updated illustrations and captions from the 2011 edition and added graphics on suction pumping, piping layouts and flexible connectors. Kristen Wright is managing editor of the PEI Journal. Reach her at email@example.com. The Petroleum Equipment Institute is a trade association whose more than 1,600 member companies in 80-plus countries manufacture, distribute and service petroleum marketing and liquid handling equipment. 18 erpecnews is published by McLean Events, Conferences and Media Ltd.
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