ATA Urges Biden to Increase Oil, Natural Gas Production

pump jacks
Pump jacks in Midland, Texas, by Angus Mordant/Bloomberg News

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American Trucking Associations, in a letter sent to the White House, is urging the Biden administration to expand domestic oil and natural gas production.

Doing so, ATA President Chris Spear said in the March 10 letter, would offer an economic lifeline to supply lines and a freight sector hard-hit by prices at the pump.

“Lacking the financial reserves needed to weather this storm, many of these companies are at risk of failing, given current projections for global crude prices over the next 12 months,” Spear wrote, highlighting the impact fuel prices are having on the 97% of motor carriers operating 20 trucks or fewer. Such firms are designated as small businesses.

POTUS ATA Energy Letter, 3.... by Transport Topics

“We cannot let an energy crisis compound the supply chain crisis, and we have the power and resources to prevent that from happening,” Spear said.

Specifically, the ATA leader called on the administration to expedite onshore and offshore oil and natural gas permitting to spur expanded production, as well as initiate immediate lease sales in current central and western Gulf of Mexico production areas.

Additionally, ATA is asking the White House to encourage expedited carbon-capture and sequestration rulemaking to ensure the country remains the leader in carbon-reduction technology development, collaborate with domestic and international oil and natural gas-producing nations and consider timed releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

“We cannot afford to ignore our nation’s current energy needs in a fog of partisan idealism about the future of energy use,” Spear said. “The trucking industry supports an all-of-the-above approach when it comes to securing our energy future. But the transition to cleaner and renewable fuels over the horizon requires a practical, actionable bridge in the here-and-now, beginning with the abundant sources readily available at home.”

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He added, “Taken together and immediately, the actions outlined above would bring immediate relief at the pump for America’s truckers and all motorists. ATA stands ready to assist you in keeping our economy and nation united, connected and strong.”

At the Technology & Maintenance Council 2022 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., earlier this month, Spear proposed policymakers secure energy independence to assist commercial transportation stakeholders. “We have the fuel. We have the oil. We have the gas. We have the ability to be self-sustaining,” said Spear at the conference.

On March 8, responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden announced the U.S. is banning the importation of Russian oil. The announcement came as the price of diesel rose 74.5 cents. That marked a record $4.849 a gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration.