The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) said it applauds the reintroduction of the mandatory fuel surcharge legislation Wednesday by Congressmen Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). The legislation will create a mandatory fuel surcharge program for the trucking industry to help carriers and small business truckers combat the effects of sudden fuel spikes.
“Unstable and escalating fuel prices in an industry so competitive that it lacks the ability to establish and maintain adequate rates to recover its costs is one of those obstacles that requires a legislative solution,” OOIDA president Jim Johnston said. “It is absolutely critical every driver get involved wherever possible to help get this important legislation passed.”
The Motor Carrier Fuel Cost Equity Act of 2001 would make it mandatory that motor carriers, brokers and freight forwarders add a fuel surcharge adequate to cover the increased cost of fuel over $1.10 per gal. It will also mandate that the surcharge be paid by the party paying for the transportation service,and that it be passed through in full to the party who pays for the fuel.
“While the price spikes have hurt the entire trucking industry, no one is hurt like the little guy,” Rahall said. “Fuel is the single biggest operating cost of a small business trucker and accounts for up to one-third of their budget.”
The legislation had originally been introduced in the 106th Congress as HR4441, where it passed unanimously in the House in October 2000 but failed to make it to the floor of the Senate before its adjournment.
HR2161 is co-sponsored by Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Robert Ney (R-OH), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Ted Strickland (D-OH), William Lipinski (D-IL) and Corrine Brown (D-FL).