The American Trucking Associations (ATA) last week published a blog calling on Washington to take action to lower the price of diesel at the pumps. The group said when fuel costs rise, so do the costs of everything else.
“Inflation can’t be controlled without some relief in price of diesel,” ATA said. “Right now, motor carriers are getting slammed by nightmarish surges in the price of diesel. It’s especially hard on smaller fleets, which don’t operate at a scale to negotiate rates down or lock prices into a contract. These small businesses account for 97 percent of trucking companies in the U.S., running 20 trucks or fewer.”
To help solve the problem of soaring diesel prices, ATA calls on Washington to take the following actions:
- Utilize the oil and natural gas found in the Gulf of Mexico by expediting lease sales and permits for offshore energy production
- Fast-track onshore oil & natural gas permitting to spur expanded production
- Announce realistic leasing and development opportunities for onshore & offshore energy
- Expedite permitting for pipelines and other energy infrastructure
- Encourage expedited carbon capture & sequestration rulemaking to ensure that America remains a world-leader in emissions reduction
The group also noted while battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks are on the horizon, “decarbonization of the freight sector cannot be realized overnight.”
“Forcing it before it makes economic and technological sense will not accelerate its arrival but instead prolong it,” ATA added. “A large tractor-trailer traveling 100,000 miles per year consumes as much electricity as 18 homes or 44 electric cars. There is simply not enough power on the grid to electrify America's future truck and car fleets, let alone the charging infrastructure.”
ATA also said emissions from new trucks today have been reduced by more than 98 percent over the last 30 years, noting it would take 60 of today’s clean diesel trucks to equal the emissions of one truck sold in 1988.
“So, as we keep an eye toward the future, it’s imperative that policymakers stay focused on the here-and-now,” the group concluded. “The energy crisis facing motorists and truckers today is compounding a supply chain crisis. The elevated price of diesel now threatens to slide our economy back into recession. We need to expand domestic energy production, and fast.”