ATA: Energy bill may ease industry pains
Aug 14, 2005 7:49 AM
The American Trucking Associations and ATA President Bill Graves said the just-passed energy bill will ease the industry’s financial burden of buying and modernizing equipment to reduce emissions.
At the same time, the push for renewable fuels and increased oil refining capacity will help to keep fuel supplies more in-line with demand.
“We are seeing the future with today’s energy prices and now it’s more important than ever that we have a forward-looking energy strategy that will help keep America moving,” Graves said. “The push toward renewable fuels and investments in new refining capacity serve to prevent high fuel prices from limiting the long-term potential of the economy while also easing the fuel needs of our industry.”
Among its benefits, the energy bill mandates that refiners begin incorporating 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels into the on-road gas and diesel supply over several years. Financial incentives encourage the expanded use of biodiesel, ethanol, and hybrid vehicles. The bill also makes it easier for the refining industry to expand capacity, a measure that ATA supported in efforts to increase the diesel fuel supply.
The bill allocates $94.5 million across three years in grants to deploy idle reduction and energy conservation technologies under the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) voluntary SmartWay Transport Partnership. Grant recipients must match granted funds by at least 50 percent. ATA is an active participant in this voluntary program.
Between 2007 and 2011, motor carriers also will be eligible for retrofit grant money under the Diesel Emissions Reduction provision . EPA will allocate $200 million annually across the 50 states, which in turn will distribute the funds based on a set formula.
The bill also clarifies the tire excise tax and requires the Treasury Department to study the amount of tire excise taxes collected annually. That report is due to Congress by July 1, 2007.
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