Keep on Truckin’ Biodiesel

Cindy Zimmerman

truckers association The American Trucking Associations’ Board of Directors has revised the organization’s alternative fuels policy to advocate the use of biodiesel in blends up to 5 percent as part of the national diesel fuel standard.

An ATA news release says the new policy serves as one part of the organization’s efforts to combat rising fuel prices and help shape a comprehensive national energy plan.

“We need to look at all options for extending the supply of diesel fuel,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Biodiesel represents an important part of a long-term energy plan designed to increase the nation’s fuel supply and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Interest in renewable fuels is gaining momentum within the trucking industry, which has been struggling against skyrocketing fuel prices. At current prices, the trucking industry, which consumes 35 billion gallons of diesel each year, is on pace to spend an unprecedented $85 billion on fuel this year. For many motor carriers, fuel often represents the second-highest expense after labor and can account for as much as 25 percent of total operating costs.

This is significant because more than 564,000 motor carriers in the United States transport nearly 70 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation. Trucks hauled 9.8 billion tons of freight in 2004, collecting $671 billion dollars, or just under 88 percent, of total revenues earned by all transport modes.

keep on truckinThe American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its fifty affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.