The American Trucking Associations’ board of directors 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 Tuesday, Oct. 18 by the board members at ATA’s annual Management Conference and Exhibition in Boston, calls for increasing the diesel fuel supply; improving the balance between environmental concerns and fuel efficiency; eliminating boutique diesel fuels; and limited use of biodiesel.
“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,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “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.”
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. These new engines are expected to be less fuel efficient, burning more diesel, in turn increasing motor carrier operating costs.
Commercial trucks consume 50 billion gallons of fuel each year. Of that, about 35 billion gallons is diesel. At current prices, the trucking industry is projected to pay a record $85 billion for diesel fuel this year, a record $23 billion more than in 2004.