Weekly Trucking andTransportation News

Oil Spikes to $99 a Barrel

For the first time since July, the Department of Energy has reported that crude oil prices have risen .86 cents in the last two weeks to $99 a barrel for the first time since July of this year. Since last month, due to factors such as Mideast turmoil, a turn around in the Euro market and a slightly weakening US dollar, prices have been fluctuating but steadily rising since October of this year where oil sold at $76 a barrel.

Congress Passes Spending Bill to Keep Fed Gov Open

The temporary bill will keep the federal government functioning until Dec. 16th so Congress can continue working on federal budget talks. The approval directs part of a $182 billion dollar slush fund to keep highway and bridge improvement projects going that states had started.

House Speaker Leverages Highway Bill on Off Shore Drilling

John Boehner (R. FL) announced a plan to keep the Highway Trust Fund spending at similar levels for the next five years by using profits from off-shore oil drilling and shale oil operations. It’s known as the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act. At the time of publication, it was unknown how the revenue from shale oil operations would be tapped. The current sister bill being debated by the Senate Finance Committee does not incorporate the off shore drilling measure, and is falling $12 billion dollars short.

Seattle Highway Infrastructure Bill Voted Down

Voters rejected a spending bill directed at improving transit services as well as state and federal highways this week in WA. The bill, labeled as Proposition 1, outlined spending funded by a fee increase on all vehicle tags registered in the state. Current fees rest at $20, while the proposition would have tripled the fee if passed. Opponents say those in the lower classes would be burdened the most, while getting the least out of the plan. The fees were estimated to generate nearly $240 million over a decade.

Truck Driver Safety Rating Continues Improvement

Fatal crashes involving tractor trailer trucks fell over 25% in just three years, a new report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows. Across the board it shows that professional transportation workers are continuing to out-perform drivers of regular vehicles on streets and highways in things like fatal crashes, crash-related injuries, use of seatbelts and other safety measures, and especially driving under the influence.

New Partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking

Although it doesn’t get much mainstream press attention, human trafficking is a very real problem, even in North America. To press back this growing threat, Pilot Flying J trucker service centers and Truckers Against Trafficking have created a new awareness campaign paired to an action network. Pilot Flying J posts action items and alerts at all their travel plazas across the U.S. These alerts provide the national hotline number that anyone can all to provide an anonymous tip if they witness or suspect human trafficking. The number is 888-373-7888.