ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The American Trucking Associations’ board of directors has unanimously endorsed an energy resolution outlining the organization’s efforts to combat escalating fuel prices and help shape a comprehensive national energy plan.
The resolution – sanctioned by the board members at ATA’s annual Management Conference and Exhibition in Boston – calls for increasing the diesel fuel supply and an improved balance between environmental concerns and fuel efficiency.
It also looks to eliminate boutique diesel fuels and limit the use of biodiesel as part of the national diesel fuel standard.
“Given the trucking industry’s reliance on available and affordable diesel fuel to move America’s goods and products, we urge the government to act quickly and strongly on our suggested initiatives,” said ATA president and CEO, Bill Graves. “Our current economic conditions require strong actions as part of a comprehensive national energy plan that enables us to deliver America’s goods. The national economy depends upon a healthy and viable trucking industry.”
According to Graves, for years the United States has under-invested in domestic refining capacity increasing U.S. dependency on foreign sources of crude oil and refined petroleum products. This occurred despite the fact that U.S. oil refiners operated at near full capacity. At the same time, fuel spikes have been more extreme than necessary because the lack of a single nation diesel fuel standard generates regional price disparities and heightens localized supply shortages, Graves said.
Rising fuel costs are hitting the trucking industry at a time when it is adopting new engine technology designed to meet reduced emission standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency and transitioning to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel. Graves said these new engines are expected to be less fuel efficient, burning more diesel, in turn increasing motor carrier operating costs.
He went on to say an uninterrupted fuel supply is essential to meet transportation needs and prevent an economic collapse.
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