The new standard

| July 02, 2006

With a little planning, the transition shouldn’t be too time consuming or expensive for the truckstops, she said.

“Our hope is that it’s going to be smooth,” she said. “It’s not going to be something that someone can just decide on Oct. 15 that they’ll start carrying ULSD.

“For the drivers, we hope it’ll be a seamless transition.”

Just the Facts

  • The EPA mandates that oil refineries must allocate 80 percent of their supply to making ULSD (vs. 20 percent maximum of low sulfur diesel) as of June 1.

  • ULSD has a sulfur content of 15 parts per million, a 97 percent reduction from low sulfur diesel.
  • Truckstops will be fined heavily if they label anything ULSD that doesn’t meet the 15 ppm requirement.
  • Truckers without ’07 engines aren’t required to buy ULSD, and truckstops aren’t required to sell it.
  • Truckers and fleets who own ’07 trucks will be required to fuel with ULSD.
  • ULSD is not expected to negatively impact older engines.
  • ULSD is expected to cost more per gallon than low sulfur diesel, but no one is sure how much more.
  • ULSD may get contaminated with sulfur in the pipelines, causing shortages and price spikes in some regions.
  • The EPA estimates the change to ULSD will result in a 90 percent reduction in pollution by 2030.

What Do Truckers Say?
“I think it’s probably a good idea because of the emissions that we face, but I don’t think they’ve done enough research on what it’s going to do to our current engines. Not everyone can afford a new truck.”
Bobby Randall
Saia Motorfreight

“I think it will result in less miles per gallon and will be harmful to the engine. From what I’ve heard, it doesn’t provide enough lubricant.”
Jeff Seider
Ravenna, Ohio
Quality Carriers

FTC: No Manipulation in Post-Katrina Gas Prices
In a report mandated by Congress, the Federal Trade Commission said May 22 that its investigation into post-Katrina gas prices revealed no illegal market manipulation.

The FTC analyzed financial data for 30 refiners, 23 wholesalers and 24 single-location retailers. It found seven refiners, two wholesalers and six retailers had higher average gasoline prices in September 2005 compared to August. These higher prices were not attributable to higher costs or to national or international market trends.

Further study indicated that factors such as regional market trends explained the pricing in nearly all the cases, the FTC reported.

Harry Reid, U.S. Senate Democratic leader, said the investigation showed only that “federal investigators don’t have the tools they need to protect the American people from gas price gouging.” The Nevada senator urged passage of an anti-gouging bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

The report vindicated refiners, said Bob Slaughter, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. Mergers and acquisitions actually have increased U.S. refining capacity, Slaughter said.

The report defies belief, said Tyson Slocum, energy program director for the consumer group Public Citizen.

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