American Trucking Association Weighs in on High Cost of Gas

by TJ on May 7, 2011

Used Semi Trailers is the #1 online resource for sourcing used trucking equipment and providing a convenient and secure selling platform for trucking equipment. Today, we’re looking at the impact of high fuel prices and the reaction of the American trucking Association:

In a March 13, 2011 statement to the House Natural Resources Committee, American Trucking Association President and CEO Bill Graves spoke out about rising fuel prices and the role Congress could play in making things better for the trucking industry.

Graves told the committee that there is no single solution to the high (and climbing) oil prices.  He proposes that conservation and the accumulation of more oil combined is the only way to combat the high prices.  Graves gives as an example, the increase in the projected spending of the trucking industry.  Reportedly, the trucking industry will spend a total of $135.8 billion dollars on fuel in 2011, a good $35 billion dollars more than 2010.  However, the amount of fuel purchased in 2011 does not merit the increase.  The cost of diesel fuel is simply higher, and continues to rise.

Graves says that companies are having trouble recovering the cost, and that this impact is passed on to consumers, who have to pay more for their everyday essentials like food and toiletries.  As the trucking companies have to pay more for fuel, stores have to pay more for product, and so does the consumer.

Graves says that the measures taken thus far are not enough to make a difference.  Even with the increase of the national speed limit to 65 miles per hour, the reduced traffic congestion and truck fuel efficiency is not enough to make up for the increased spending on fuel.  Graves suggests that Congress take steps to increase oil drilling in the Gulf o f Mexico, and should promote the development of oil shale and coal-to-liquid and gas-to-liquid (also known as liquefied natural gas) or order to make fuel more available, and therefore less expensive.

In addition, Graves suggests that a financial incentive such as a tax credit should be implemented in order to encourage trucking companies to make the switch to liquefied natural gas trucks, which cost twice as much as standard diesel-powered trucks.  These liquefied natural gas trucks (LNG) also weigh more than standard trucks, so Graves suggests that standard weigh stations should be federally encouraged to extend the weight variance to accept these heavier, more expensive trucks so that weight fines are not an issue.

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