ATA calls for comprehensive plan to ensure affordable oil

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ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is urging the Bush Administration and Congress to implement a comprehensive plan to increase domestic oil supplies and ensure an affordable supply of oil for the United States’ 3.5 million truck drivers and American consumers.

Speaking at a National Press Club press conference hosted by Consumers For More Energy, ATA senior vice-president Tim Lynch encouraged Congress to implement policies that will reduce oil demand, accelerate the development of research and technology, prudently increase government oversight of the petroleum markets and increase domestic oil supplies.

“ATA recognizes that the solution to this problem is multi-faceted,” Lynch said. “We need a broad relief agenda that includes increasing domestic oil production to address the escalating cost of fuel and relieve the financial hardships of the trucking industry and all drivers.”

Lynch was joined at the press conference by the American Highway Users Alliance, National Defense Council Foundation, The National Grange and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council.

ATA is urging the federal government to help bring down the price of diesel fuel and to alleviate trucking companies’ hardships by doing the following:

-allowing environmentally responsible exploration of oil-rich areas in the US that are now off-limits;

-allowing environmentally responsible development of crude resources in oil shale and tar sands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming;

-streamlining EPA’s regulatory framework for reviewing and processing applications for additional refinery operations;

-establishing a national diesel fuel standard;

-working with the 50 state Attorneys General to combat any fuel price gouging that might occur;

-continuing to fund EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership Program, which encourages fuel-saving strategies;

-requiring speed limiters set for 68 mph or lower on all new trucks;

-setting a national maximum speed limit of 65 mph;

-eliminating the collection of the 12% federal excise tax on motor carriers’ purchase of auxiliary power units (APUs), which cut the consumption of fuels in idling truck engines;

-requiring states to grant a weight exemption for APUs;

-eliminating “splash and dash” a tax benefit for imported biodiesel that is subsequently exported; and

-releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

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