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Amber Alert

Friday, March 21, 2008

ATA chief advocates speed limiters to reduce fuel in letters to feds

ATA President and CEO Bill Graves has written letters to the heads of two federal agencies promoting speed limiters as a way to cut fuel costs and to the Bureau of Land Management advocating development of oil shale and tar sands resources in the U.S. to increase domestic oil supplies.

In his comments to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator John Hill and National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Nicole Nason, the American Trucking Associations chief noted that trucking could pay up to $135 billion for diesel this year, compared with $112 billion last year, adding that “One highly effective way to reduce fuel use by the trucking industry is to lower vehicle speeds.”

He added that ATA in October of 2006 had submitted petitions to FMCSA and NHTSA requesting that newly manufactured trucks be required to install speed limiters set at no higher than 68 mph.

“For each 1 mph that a truck’s speed is reduced, there is approximately a 0.1 mpg increase in fuel efficiency,” he wrote, adding that ATA “requests that NHTSA and FMCSA immediately grant ATA’s petition and expedite rulemaking in order to take advantage of both the fuel and safety benefits that a speed limiter requirement will produce.”

In his letter to the Bureau of Land Management, Graves said, “To ameliorate the volatility of diesel prices, ATA believes that the federal government must take immediate steps to increase the domestic supply of crude oil and refined diesel fuel in an environmentally responsible manner.”

One way to do that would be to develop oil shale and tar sands resources in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, he said.