Bioenergy

National Trucking Association Endorses Biodiesel

High energy prices affect every part of the economy but the transportation sector is dealt one of the harshest blows. That’s one of the main reasons behind the recent endorsement of biodiesel from the U.S. trucking industry’s major national representative group.

The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Board of Directors this week unanimously endorsed an energy resolution that includes promoting low blends of biodiesel as part of the organization’s efforts to help shape a strong national energy plan. The resolution, sanctioned by the board members at ATA’s annual Management Conference and Exhibition in Boston, looks to increase the diesel fuel supply; improve the balance between environmental concerns and fuel efficiency; eliminate boutique diesel fuels; and “promote biodiesel use” of up to 5 percent (B5). The resolution states “biodiesel may be an effective means to extend the supply of diesel fuel.” “ATA is proud to endorse the use of biodiesel in blends of up to 5 percent,” said Rich Moskowitz, ATA regulatory affairs counsel. “It fits in with our mission of ensuring an adequate diesel fuel supply — something important to the trucking industry. Promoting B5 is a step in the right direction.” The renewable fuel’s momentum within the trucking industry is gaining strength as a growing number of truckers fill their rigs with biodiesel blends. With support from legendary musician and biodiesel advocate Willie Nelson, the trucking industry is turning to biodiesel as an American-made fuel with the added benefits of helping to support American farmers and protecting the environment. And it also doesn’t hurt that biodiesel prices are competitively priced with regular biodiesel. “A federal biodiesel tax incentive is helping to make biodiesel more cost competitive, and each day we hear about new truckers who are interested in biodiesel’s benefits,” said Joe Jobe, chief executive officer of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). “We always knew biodiesel would appeal to truckers, but in such a cost sensitive market we have been very pleased by the recent show of support, even when blends cost more.” Jobe recently spoke at the ATA annual conference, where it was agreed that NBB and ATA would work toward a joint policy resolution that would facilitate greater cooperation on energy issues in Washington. Jobe noted he is hopeful that the cooperation will lead to greater ATA support of higher blends. Biodiesel blends meeting the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard are available to truckers at fueling sites throughout the country. In response to the tremendous interest in biodiesel from the trucking industry, NBB has created a new Web site as a resource specifically for truckers (see link below). Biotrucker.com includes the latest information about biodiesel availability, trucker testimonials, technical information, discussion boards and other current news from the biodiesel industry. Truckers are encouraged to show their support for biodiesel by becoming a “BioTrucker” to receive the latest biodiesel-related news and information.