OAKLAND, Calif. — Independent truck drivers protesting high diesel prices in California may have succeeded in capturing the public’s attention but not the support of the powerful California Truckers Association.
A spokeswoman for the California Truckers Association told the San Franscisco Chronicle that her group doesn’t approve of the protest by 200 truck drivers which disrupted Union Pacific Railroad’s operations at the Port of Oakland.
A Union Pacific Railroad spokesman confirmed the protest had substantial impact on its operations at the Port of Oakland. Earlier in the week, a similar protest in Stockton reduced volume 80 to 95 percent. The protest also snarled morning commuter traffic for miles on Interstate 5 south of Los Angeles when truckers parked or jackknifed three big rigs, then sped away in a car. Other trucks slowed on Highway 110 between downtown Los Angeles and the ports, causing minor traffic delays, authorities said.
Spokeswoman Stephanie Williams said actions to disrupt the ports at Oakland and Long Beach and to block Interstate Highway 5 in the City of Commerce only make the public upset at truckers and draw attention away from the issue of high diesel gas prices.
Williams said California’s prices are more than 50 cents a gallon above the national average price and trucking companies are unable to pass on their costs, forcing them to park their trucks in many cases. She said the California Trucking Association is attempting to contain the situation by seeking legislative and regulatory help.
She said the association has called on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to use his emergency powers to allow the temporary use of federal diesel fuel, which is less expensive, until prices stabilize.
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