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July 3, 2014

Truck Officials Disappointed in Fuel Ruling

Low carbon fuel standards set in California will remain in place after the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge on the matter.

“The controversial 2007 rule, the only one of its kind in the country, requires fuel producers to reduce the carbon footprint of their products over the entire life cycle of the fuel, including the greenhouse gases generated in producing, refining and transporting the fuel,” TruckingInfo.com reported. “The goal is to encourage biofuels, electric vehicles and other alternatives that account for less greenhouse gas emissions.”

In the same article, TruckingInfo.com also said “A coalition of energy, farm and trade groups sued, saying the rule illegally discriminates against fuel produced outside of the state. California, however, contends that some of the fuels with the lowest carbon-intensity scores came from out of state.

“A federal trial judge blocked the rule in 2011, but a federal appeals court reversed that ruling last year. The Supreme Court let that ruling stand without comment.”

Critics of the California law say it has led to higher fuel prices, which challenges the commercial truck industry. The commercial truck industry has been slowly moving towards the adoption of alternative fuels, but truck officials say a move too quickly could have a costly impact on the industry.

Truck officials are particularly concerned about the fuel standards because the industry is developing across the country, including California. As shipping services continue, and as truck carriers put trucks on the road, they are trying to avoid unnecessary expenses in fuel.

According to the American Trucking Associations’ Economic Department and its U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2024, “Overall freight revenue will grow by 63.6 percent to $1.3 trillion annually in 2024 and trucking will see its share of those revenues rise to 81 percent from 80.7 percent in 2012.”

The ATA also reported that, “Truckload volumes will grow 3.2 percent through 2018 and 1.1 percent annually between 2019 and 2024. Less-than-truckload volume should grow 3.5 percent annually through 2018 and by 2.4 percent until 2024.”