ATA’s Summit on Natural Gas to Focus on Alt-Fuels for Fleets
Mindy Long for TT
By Jonathan S. Reiskin, Associate News Editor
This story appears in the Nov. 26 print edition of Transport Topics.
American Trucking Associations this week will convene a two-day, public conference on the industry’s use of natural gas, a development that several executives said may significantly alter U.S. trucking operations by displacing much of the diesel fuel the industry burns.
The sold-out ATA Summit on Natural Gas in Trucking will run Nov. 28-30 in Arlington, Va., and has attracted more than 500 attendees, more than twice the number the trucking federation originally thought would attend.
The 11 sessions draw together executives from trucking, truck and engine manufacturing, truck stops, natural-gas producers and vehicle maintenance. There will also be representatives from the U.S. Energy Department, an environmental advocacy group and several policy groups, and two members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“This is a cutting-edge symposium,” said ATA Chairman Michael Card. “ATA is very concerned about the environment, engine exhaust and reducing our carbon footprint.”
“We also need our country to be more energy self-sufficient, and this has the potential to help America’s energy security,” said Card, who is also president of Combined Transport Inc., Central Point, Ore.
“We couldn’t be happier with the quality of the speakers we have attracted,” said ATA President Bill Graves.
“We’ve moved past the question of whether natural gas is viable as a fuel for trucking. It certainly is, but now we have to go fleet by fleet and look at the details,” Graves said.
In talking to fleet executives during the year, Graves said he has seen carriers fit into three groups: those that are already very involved with CNG or LNG — compressed or liquefied natural gas — and have already generated results; those that are seriously inclined toward using natural gas but aren’t entirely sold; and those that are pessimistic and far from being sold.
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