ATA supports fuel economy standards

Building on its progressive sustainability platform, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) this week adopted a carbon emissions control policy supporting a national fuel economy standard for trucks, rather than government actions to increase fuel prices or alternative fuel mandates. The policy states that “carbon emission reductions achieved through national truck fuel economy standards are preferable to government actions that increase fuel prices in an effort to discourage petroleum-based diesel fuel consumption or mandate the use of alternative fuels.”

While any federally mandated carbon control program applied to transportation fuels likely will increase the cost of fossil fuels, discussions of carbon control programs should be premised on fundamental principles designed to minimize disruptions to the transportation of goods and to protect the viability of the trucking industry.

ATA’s new energy policy outlines a framework for evaluating carbon control initiatives and specifies that an effective carbon control program for the trucking industry must address the following provisions.

  • Produce cost-effective, verifiable carbon reductions;
  • Ensure that revenue generated from motor carriers and other highway transportation consumers benefits highway users;
  • Ensure that any increased costs are reasonable, predictable and do not increase the volatility of fuel prices;
  • Avoid diesel fuel supply disruptions and ensure that only on-road diesel fuel that meets the ASTM standard for which trucks were designed to run on is sold in the marketplace;
  • Maintain a level playing field among freight transportation modes; and
  • Provides incentives for improved fuel efficiency and availability of alternative technologies.

“Diesel fuel remains the most viable option for powering the trucking industry,” said ATA Vice President Rich Moskowitz. “ATA’s carbon emission reduction policy acknowledges the need to look toward alternative technologies while ensuring that the industry can continue to efficiently move the consumer goods we rely on daily.”

The carbon emissions policies were approved by the ATA Board of Directors at the association’s annual Management Conference & Exhibition, held Oct. 16-19 in Phoenix.

In the release of its sustainability plan more than two years ago, ATA announced its support of technologically feasible national fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that reduce fuel consumption. Other components of the plan to lower trucking’s carbon footprint include:

  • Federal laws requiring trucks to have speed governors set at 65 mph or below, and a national speed limit of 65 mph for all vehicles;
  • Allowing more productive truck weights and combinations, which safely improve fuel economy;
  • Expansion of the EPA SmartWay Transportation program, which works to reduce greenhouse gases and save fuel;
  • Reducing idling by updating the interstate system and reducing traffic congestion; and
  • Using new technologies to reduce other engine idling.

Visit www.trucksdeliver.org for more information about ATA’s sustainability recommendations.

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