AFTC task force to study renewable fuels issues

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The Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference of the American Trucking Associations announced that it has formed a renewable fuels task force to examine issues associated with renewable fuels and their importance to the commercial agricultural trucking industry.

The initiative follows the U.S. House of Representatives’ and Senate’s recent introduction of concurrent resolutions establishing a national renewable energy goal, whereby 25 percent of energy consumed in the United States must come from agricultural-based renewable fuels by the year 2025. ATA supports the use of biodiesel in blends up to 5 percent that meet applicable quality standards and are part of a single, national diesel fuel standard.

AFTC Chairman Greg Owen acknowledged that the resolutions will benefit AFTC members and the U.S. agricultural industry. “With today’s rising energy costs and fuel charges, it is imperative that Americans and the business community work together to support renewable energy sources that can make the United States less dependent on imported sources of energy,” Owen said. “Commercial agricultural transportation will play a key role in the transport, distribution and use of renewable energy fuels.”

The original cosponsors of the “25 x ’25” resolution are Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa); and Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) and John Peterson (R-Pa.). Owen also commended the House Agriculture Committee on holding a recent hearing on “Agriculture’s Role in the Renewable Fuels Market.”

“With all the attention the issue of renewable fuels is receiving in Washington, and the fact that most types of renewable fuels originate with agricultural commodities, and will be hauled by commercial agricultural transporters, it is timely and relevant for AFTC to examine and review many of the issues associated with the potential of renewable fuels,” Owen said.

Appointed to serve on AFTC’s renewable fuels task force are John Whittington, Grammer Industries, chairman; Mike Miller, Miller Trucking Co.; Mark Peterson, C.H. Robinson; Al Eiden, CHS Cooperatives; Dennis Berryhill, Fleetwood Transportation; and Bob Chituras, Foster Farms.