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Energy


Transportation in America depends almost exclusively on liquid petroleum fuels. The continued economic viability of the trucking industry is dependent on an adequate and reasonably priced fuel supply.

A.  Pricing

TCA supports a free market approach to the pricing of petroleum products. Should the free market approach fail and price controls be established, those controls should apply to all petroleum products and all users.

B.  Availability

An uninterrupted fuel supply is essential to meet the nation's transportation needs. Should the free market approach fail to provide adequate allocation of fuel supplies to essential users such as trucking on a priority basis, the trucking industry supports the allocation of fuel supplies to bulk or wholesale purchasers with priority status. At a minimum, commercial vehicles should receive 100% of current requirements.

Forced contingency efforts of the government to reduce fuel consumption artificially must distinguish between commercial and discretionary users of fuel. TCA supports rationing only as an extreme measure provided a distinction between commercial and discretionary users is maintained.

TCA supports the goals of increased national energy self sufficiency and reduced vulnerability to future energy disruptions. Therefore, the industry supports offshore development of oil and natural gas on a timely basis.

C.  Conservation

TCA supports setting technologically feasible national fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that reduce fuel consumption if they do not compromise the performance of the vehicles.

The price of fuel should not be increased artificially through government action to encourage conservation. Regressive, incentive-distorting taxes on energy production and use should be eliminated.

To conserve motor fuel and promote safety, TCA supports a national 65 mph speed limit.

D.  Alternative Fuels

TCA supports a single national diesel fuel standard. The use of biodiesel, in blends of up to 5% (i.e., B5), is an appropriate means to increase the supply of diesel fuel, provided that the biodiesel blend meets the ASTM D975 standard for on-road diesel fuel. TCA supports voluntary research, investigation and demonstration projects that evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of using alternative fuels in commercial fleet vehicles. TCA does not support state or municipal government mandates to use alternative fuels.

Alternative fuel programs should be “fuel-neutral”, not recommending or mandating the use or favoritism of any specific alternative fuel. The marketplace and fuel consumers are best suited to make decisions regarding the use of new fuels. Reformulated or clean petroleum-based fuels – such as clean diesel and reformulated gasoline – should be included as eligible clean alternative fuels.

Alternative fuels should not be exempt from the payment of highway taxes or other fees to maintain the network of roads. An equitable taxation program is central to the most-effective use of alternative fuels on our nation’s highways. Federal and state tax incentives to encourage the use of alternative fuels, including biodiesel, are appropriate, provided, however, that no such incentives, at either the federal or state level, should be financed out of or reduce funds collected or otherwise designated for transportation funding.

E.  Emission Regulations 

The best way to reduce the contribution heavy-duty trucks make toward air pollution is to set emission standards in a manner that allows for, and encourages, improvements in productivity and fuel efficiency. The standards established for pollutant emission should be technically feasible.

TCA supports idling reduction efforts made through motor carrier anti-idling programs and self-governance.

Amended October 5, 2008

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