House Passes Bill That Includes Alternative Fuel Tax Credits
The House of Representatives has passed the 50 cents per gallon alternative fuel excise tax credit. The bill will move to the senate, where it is expected to pass. If the bill can get a signature from the president, it will provide benefits for users of natural gas, propane, and liquefied hydrogen. The bill also includes a tax credit for infrastructure up to $30,000 that can be used for installing fueling equipment for the previous energy types mentioned above, along with ethanol and biodiesel blends, and electric vehicle charging. The incentives expired in 2017, but this bill would retroactively apply for 2018 and 2019 and continue through the end of 2020.
TuSimple Study Finds 10% Fuel Savings for Autonomous Trucks
TuSimple–one of the industry’s leading autonomous truck developers– have released results on a test the company performed with the help of the University of California San Diego. The study found that autonomous technology cuts the consumption of heavy-duty trucks by at least 10 percent. The test truck traveled in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and operated in both highway driving and congested urban driving. The study lasted for six months, including 122 trips and nearly 6,700 miles.
Top Energy Stories
Easing trade tensions and production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have boosted oil prices recently, but some investors remain dubious that even those long-awaited developments will be enough to push crude beyond its recent trading range.
The House this week passed a tax extenders package that includes an extension of the $0.50/gallon alternative fuel excise tax credit, along with other measures important to the clean-fuel transportation industry.
Top Freight Transportation Stories
The autonomous truck developer has released the results of a fuel economy study conducted with the University of California San Diego that it said proves TuSimple’s autonomous technology cuts fuel consumption of heavy-duty trucks by at least 10%.
On Jan. 1, 2020, the new International Maritime Organization’s regulation-dubbed “IMO 2020”-requiring a sulfur reduction in fuels from 3.5% to 0.5% will go into effect. The regulation stipulates that oceangoing vessels must use either a cleaner bunker fuel, have on-board gas stack scrubbers to clean the higher sulfur fuel or use an alternative marine fuel such as LPG, LNG or methanol. With the regulation comes the need for inspections and enforcement to give the new rule “teeth” and force compliance.
Funding for freight safety programs would be increased and infrastructure grants would receive $1 billion under fiscal 2020 legislation the U.S. House of Representatives advanced Dec. 17.
Top Economic Stories
U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods slated to take effect Dec. 15, known as list 4B, will not take effect, Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning, as the U.S. and China agreed to phase one of a trade deal. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) confirmed the deal in a press release shortly after.
The U.S. expansion, now in its 11th year, will continue through the 2020 presidential election with a healthy labor market backing it up, economists say. The panel of 57 economists who participated in The Wall Street Journal’s December economic survey offered a relatively optimistic outlook for 2020 growth, albeit at a slower pace than in 2019.
U.S. factory production, home building, and the job market showed signs of a pickup, offering additional signals that the U.S. economy is firming.