ATA, others urge petroleum reserve release

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and industry groups in the Northeast are calling for federal officials to release petroleum from various reserves to give some relief to high fuel prices.

Bill Graves, ATA president, has urged President Bush to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and associations in the Northeast are asking the president to release the 1.97 million barrels of heating oil in storage in the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve.

Those involved in the Northeast requests include the New England Fuel Institute, Petroleum Marketers Association of America, Independent Connecticut Petroleum Association, Maine Oil Dealers Association, Massachusetts Oilheat Council, Oil Heat Council of New Hampshire, Empire State Petroleum Association, New York Oil Heating Association, Oil Heat Institute of Long Island, Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey, Pennsylvania Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, Oil Heat Institute of Rhode Island, and the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association.

In a letter to President Bush, Graves cautioned that skyrocketing diesel prices will magnify the current economic slowdown and delay an economic recovery.

The Northeast associations stated in their letter: "Surging foreign demand for distillate fuel and the ongoing transition to lower sulfur distillate fuel for off-road use, combined with extraordinary volatility and price spikes in the futures markets, have placed unprecedented pressures on our member dealers and their customers. They are in need of immediate market relief and we urge you to come to their aid.”

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