Arkansas Trucking Association calls for hearings on diesel fuel prices

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The Arkansas Trucking Association said Thursday, March 20, that it is petitioning Congress to investigate “record-high diesel fuel prices” that “threaten the cost-effective flow of goods in the United States and the general economy,” Arkansas Business reported. The association’s board of directors voted unanimously to seek congressional oversight hearings into the causes of diesel prices that have surpassed $4 per gallon.

Lane Kidd, association president, said Congress should act now to ward off an economic crisis. “The damage these fuel prices are inflicting on the U.S. economy each day resembles a hurricane sweeping across our nation, and that could mean thousands of lost jobs and hundreds of closed businesses,” Kidd said.

The association’s board of directors includes senior executives from public trucking companies such as FedEx Freight, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, ABF Freight System, P.A.M. Transportation Services and USA Truck, as well as the transportation divisions of Wal-Mart Stores and Tyson Foods.

Meanwhile, the American Trucking Associations has asked for the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. ATA President Bill Graves wrote in a letter to President Bush that oil markets are out of adjustment because of speculative buying, and not because of normal supply and demand.

The national average retail price of a gallon of diesel soared 15.5 cents to set a record high for the fourth consecutive week, $3.974, for the week ending Monday, March 17. The price, which has climbed 69.4 cents in the last five weeks, is $1.293 higher than the same week last year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The average price, which has been above $3 for 26 consecutive weeks, appears likely to surpass the $4 mark next week.