Trucking companies know how the cost of diesel fuel can affect the profitability of their operations. However, the cost of electricity and natural gas – two key power sources for trucking terminals, warehouses and other facilities – can have the same type of dramatic impact, said W.R. Timken Jr., chairman & CEO of truck component supplier The Timken Co.
Speaking at an energy summit in Columbus, OH, Timken said the cost of energy must remain a top issue of both the public and private sector.
“The California electricity and natural gas problems that have become so visible and controversial provide a dramatic reminder of what happens when we don’t get energy policies right,” Timken said. “In the longer term, our economy will grow and so will energy demand. Energy infrastructure can’t be built overnight, so energy supply and energy pricing remain an important topic.”
Timken stressed that fractions of a penny or just small variations in energy quality make a huge difference to the corporate bottom line. “A rise of one-tenth of a cent per kilowatt hour increases our annual electric bill by more than one million dollars. And substandard electricity or natural gas delivery shuts down state-of-the art factory machinery, resulting in flawed products,” he said.
That’s why Timken believes now is the time to carefully plan and put in place across the U.S. a viable energy policy.
“Energy is a topic that has little respect for state or national borders,” he said. “National coordination of physical energy commerce and the implementation of a sound energy policy are critical parts of any effort to seriously manage energy supply, energy delivery and energy prices.”