ATA wants oil drilling area expanded

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The American Trucking Associations has requested that the Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior expand the area where companies can drill for oil and natural gas along the U.S. coastline as part of a long-term strategy to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, increase national fuel supplies and curb skyrocketing fuel prices.

Currently, drilling is limited to the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico. ATA has requested that MMS expand drilling areas well beyond those regions, including acreage off the coast of Alaska.

“We need the ability to explore new, untapped areas for domestic energy supplies,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “The U.S. has an opportunity to improve our energy situation and continue to support economic growth, while providing consumers and businesses with the essential energy they need.”

Given current fuel prices, the U.S. trucking industry is on pace to spend an unprecedented $85 billion on fuel this year, $23 billion more than in 2004.