ARLINGTON, Va. (Jan. 30, 2009) — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is asking Congress to support the trucking industry's environmental initiatives, which include enacting a nationwide 65 mph speed limit and implementing fuel economy standards on medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
The ATA estimates the intitiatives it's proposing would reduce the industry's fuel consumption by 86 billion gallons and reduce the carbon footprint of all vehicles by nearly 1 billion tons over the next 10 years.
“It is in our best business interest to reduce our energy consumption, improve our profitability, and reduce our levels of emissions and greenhouse gases,” said Tommy Hodges, chairman of Shelbyville, Tenn.-based truckload carrier Titan Transfer Inc., testifying this week on behalf of the ATA before the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“Our industry is proud of its environmental record in reducing emissions and transitioning to clean fuels,” he said.
In his testimony, Mr. Hodges asked Congress to:
* Enact a national 65 mph speed limit and govern truck speeds at 65 mph or slower to reduce fuel consumption;
* Increase funding for the Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay program, a valuable voluntary greenhouse gas reduction program designed to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing air pollution;
* Support national fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which would lead to lower emissions through reduced fuel consumption;
* Implement financial incentives in the way of tax credits or grants to expedite the introduction of idling-reduction equipment across the nation;
* Invest in infrastructure improvements to fix the nation's most critical bottlenecks, easing congestion and saving 32 billion gallons of fuel and reducing carbon emissions by 314 million tons over 10 years;
* Fund research and development in new technologies that will improve average fuel consumption and generate greater fuel efficiency; and
* Promote the use of more productive truck combinations resulting in fewer truck miles traveled and saving more than 20.5 billion gallons of diesel fuel and reducing carbon emissions by 227 million tons over 10 years.
The ATA is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry, representing more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the U.S.