ATA disappointed Arctic refuge drilling not in House bill

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American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves has expressed the trucking industry’s disappointment that U.S. House leaders stripped Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil and gas drilling from the House budget reconciliation bill after concluding it endangered the bill’s chances on the House floor.

Also stripped was a section that would have expanded the area where companies can drill for oil and natural gas along the U.S. coastline. ATA considered environmentally sound exploration of the Arctic refuge and other regions an integral part of a long-term strategy to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and increase national fuel supplies.

“The U.S. must be given opportunities to improve our energy situation,” Graves said in a statement released Thursday, Nov. 10. “Without them, the trucking industry will continue to suffer, and the economic effects of rising fuel prices will only worsen. ATA strongly supports efforts that will increase national energy self-sufficiency and reduce vulnerability to future energy disruptions.”

ATA previously had issued a letter to House members voicing support for the energy-related provisions and asking that they be included in the final package.