|Saturday, April 30, 2016
||Helping Dealers Succeed!
EDA Dealer Manufacturer Relations Survey Report To Be Released Soon
The Equipment Dealers Association is again publishing its annual Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey in 2016. We are putting the final touches on the 72-page report which will be released to only EDA dealer-members and the 55 manufacturers which received the minimum responses to be included in the report. This year we will be releasing the report via a link to our new, redesigned EDA website for download which should be ready in a couple of weeks. At that time we will send you the link to the report on the EDA website for you to download.
EDA is proud to report that due to extensive promotion by our organization along with the promotion and support of several manufacturers we experienced significant increases in dealer participation across the board. A total of 9,180 individual company ratings were provided by over 2,300 dealerships, increases of 35% and 25% respectively. Also 55 companies will be included in the report compared to 50 last year.
EDA’s Government Relations Committee Meets in St. Louis
On April 25 and 26, 2016, the Government Relations Committee met in St. Louis, Missouri to discuss legislative and regulatory issues facing dealers across North America including Department of Labor overreach, Right to Repair legislation, and pending trade agreements. The two day meeting was attended by Sarah Partridge (Montana), Brandon Wilbanks (Louisiana), Paul Scherrman (Iowa), Nick Sinner (Minnesota/South Dakota), Ralph Gaiss (Northeast) and EDA’s Natalie Higgins. For more information about this meeting or for information about joining EDA’s Government Relations Committee, contact Natalie Higgins at email@example.com.
Upcoming EDA Regional Director Elections
Express your interest
Director elections are scheduled to be held this summer for the EDA Regions of Canada, Great Lakes and Gulf Coast. Individuals who are interested in running for the directorship positions are encouraged to contact the EDA office at 636-349-5000.
The Canadian directorship represents all dealers in Canada. While the Gulf Coast directorship represents dealers located in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida and the Great Lakes directorship represents dealers in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.
For additional information, contact the EDA office at 636-349-5000.
ObamaCare Premiums Expected To Rise Sharply Amid Insurer Losses
Health insurance companies are laying the groundwork for substantial increases in ObamaCare premiums, opening up a line of attack for Republicans in a presidential election year. Many insurers have been losing money on the ObamaCare marketplaces, in part because they set their premiums too low when the plans started in 2014. The companies are now expected to seek substantial price increases.
"There are absolutely some carriers that are going to have to come in with some pretty significant price hikes to make up for the underpricing that they did before,” said Sabrina Corlette, a professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, while noting that the final picture remains unclear.
Insurers are already making the case for premium increases, pointing to a pool of enrollees that is smaller, sicker and costlier than they expected. Read more. Source: The Hill
New Co-op Prepares To Start ‘Farming’ Data
There are many different kinds of agricultural cooperatives that produce everything from milk to sugar, but the Ag Data Coalition (ADC) is leading the way for a whole new kind of operation: a farm data co-op.
By June 1, the ADC – including the American Farm Bureau Federation, CropIMS, CNH, AGCO, Topcon, Raven, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, The Ohio State University, Auburn University and the University of Mississippi – plans to have a prototype of the co-op up and running for a three-to-four-month trial, Mary Kay Thatcher, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s senior director for congressional relations, told Agri-Pulse in an interview. By fall it should be fully operational.
Modern farm machinery enables producers to routinely capture and store massive amounts of data as farmers plant, cultivate and harvest their crops, and those producers should have total control and perhaps even profit from that information, Thatcher said. It’s why the group is leading the way to establish the first ever data bank, strictly for the benefit of farmers that use it. Read more. Source: Agri-Pulse
STIHL Inc. Names Stephen Ballenger Vice President of Operations
STIHL Inc. is pleased to welcome Stephen Ballenger as the new vice president of operations in the U.S. Ballenger will be responsible for all production operations at the more than one million square foot corporate headquarters in Virginia Beach, VA where the company produces more than 275 models of handheld outdoor power equipment. His role will include directing manufacturing, engineering, materials and procurement, logistics, buildings, maintenance and quality assurance activities.
Ballenger brings more than 30 years of engineering and manufacturing expertise and leadership experience to STIHL, most recently serving as president of Light Vehicles USA for Metalsa in Elizabethtown, Ky. Previous leadership experience includes positions at Carl Zeiss, Hella and a 15-year career with Bosch North America. Ballenger has a Master of Science in industrial management and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Clemson University. Source: STIHL Press Release
Hatch, Paulsen Introduce Bill to Enhance HSAs, FSAs
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Committee member, Erik Paulsen (R-MN) recently introduced the Health Savings Act of 2016 (H.R. 4469 & S. 2499), which seeks to simplify and expand HSAs and FSAs. Created to give Americans control over their personal health care spending, these plans have grown in popularity despite needing critical updates to match our changing health care system.
For example, when HSAs were first made available back in 2003, these plans only covered 454,000 lives. Today, 19.7 million individuals are covered under a health plan that is HSA-eligible. Among other things, the comprehensive legislation clarifies that individual employees’ contributions to HSAs and FSAs should not be counted toward the calculation of the Cadillac Excise Tax. Source: TASC Provider News (EDA endorsed provider.)
OMB Reviewing 2017 RFS Proposals from EPA
EPA proposals for the 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard are now undergoing review by the White House Office of Budget and Management and are nearing publication in the Federal Register that will lead to public comment.
In a notice posted on the agency's website, OMB said it received the proposals last Friday, putting the suggested biofuel blending requirements on track for public airing this summer. OMB has 90 days to review the proposal, but the White House agency took less than 30 days to review RFS proposals for 2014, 2015 and 2016 when they were submitted in early May last year.
The proposal offers renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for renewable fuel, advanced biofuel and cellulosic biofuel in 2017, plus the 2018 RVO for biomass-based diesel. (The 2017 standard for biodiesel and renewable diesel was finalized in last year's RFS rule.)
The timely delivery of the 2017 RFS proposal is in stark contrast to recent years when EPA failed to offer any blending requirements for 2014, 2015 and 2016 until well into 2015, missing the Nov. 30 statutory deadline for final approval of the 2014 and 2015 rules.
The delays were the subject of many criticisms of EPA, the biggest of which being the reduction in blending limits by some 20 percent below those set by in the eight-year-old law that reauthorized and strengthened the RFS.
Most biofuel trade groups joined to sue the agency for what they say is EPA's inappropriate use of its "waiver" authority to reduce blending limits for corn ethanol and advanced ethanol, depending on market conditions. Biodiesel interests said blending limits for their fuel tracked production expectations and did not join in the lawsuit.
The oil industry, which also complained about the late rulemaking, filed suit as well, complaining the limits set for the amount of biofuels to be blended into the gasoline supply were too high for market conditions.
The biofuel blending targets finalized last November were higher than those EPA proposed in May of last year, but they fell far short of the levels set in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which Congress adopted by a wide bipartisan margin.
The agency set total blending requirements in 2015 to 16.93 billion gallons, well below the 20.5 billion gallons called for by EISA, and 18.1 billion gallons this year, down from the EISA-set 22.5 billion gallons.
The totals included 14.05 billion gallons of "undifferentiated biofuels," or corn ethanol, in 2015, even though the industry produced at least 14.7 billion gallons and EISA had set the RVO at 15 billion. For 2016, EPA set the corn ethanol number at 14.5 billion gallons, below the 15 billion gallons authorized by EISA.
Given the slow development of commercially viable advanced biofuels, the agency continued to set cellulosic ethanol volumes at levels far below those set by EISA. The cellulosic amounts set by EPA of 33 million gallons for 2014, 123 million gallons for 2015, and 230 million gallons in 2016 represent a miniscule portion of the original EISA targets of 1.75 billion gallons in 2014, 3 billion gallons in 2015, and 4.25 billion gallons in 2016.
The biofuel industry acknowledges the delays in the development of the technology that could bring cellulosic biofuels mainstream, but say the levels set by EPA hinder that very development.
Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), said the rule adopted last November undermines the intent of Congress in 2007 to allow volumes that drive marketplace change.
"EPA's decision today turns our nation's most successful energy policy on its head," Dinneen said in a statement released by RFA in November. "When EPA released its proposed RFS rule in May (2015), the agency claimed it was attempting to get the program back on track. Today's decision, however, fails to do that. It will deepen uncertainty in the marketplace and thus chill investment in second-generation biofuels." Source: 25X'25 Resource Newsletter
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