ATA urges White House to tap oil reserve

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is urging the White House to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an attempt to break the current run-up in crude oil prices before they further constrain the U.S. economy.

In a letter to President George W. Bush, ATA President and CEO Bill Graves cautioned that skyrocketing diesel prices will magnify the current economic slowdown and delay an economic recovery.

Graves advocated for the Bush Administration to implement policies that will ensure a steady, affordable supply of oil for the nation’s 3.5 million truck drivers and all American consumers.

“We are very concerned that out-of-control energy prices will greatly magnify our current economic slowdown and delay our economic recovery,” Graves notes. “If households have to spend their forthcoming tax rebate checks on energy, the stimulus will be significantly limited. The more consumers spend on fuel the less they have to spend on other goods or services.”

Rising fuel prices have been a significant burden on the trucking industry. The industry is on a pace to spend an unprecedented $135 billion on diesel fuel this year, $22 billion more than a year earlier.

The trucking industry is experiencing the highest prolonged fuel prices in history. For many carriers fuel is surpassing labor as their largest expense and this ultimately will increase the cost of everything delivered by truck.

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