Freight News Roundup – Healthcare Reform, Carbon Tax and Skagit River Bridge Collapse

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Every week, we’re bringing the uShip community posts and articles about the transportation industry, transport policy and technology, and recent trucking news.

Healthcare Reform: Pay or PlayTruckingInfo.com

Healthcare ReformTrucking companies are chanigng the way they handle their healthcare coverage due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires individuals to have health insurance.

The Truckload Carriers Association held a webinar on May 23 to discuss its analysis of the ACA. The main presenter, Kim Beck, Vice President of benefits consulting at Cottingham & Bustler Inc., broke down the ways in which trucking companies are going to be affected by the ACA.

“Transportation companies will need to use different methods to determine full-time status,” Beck explained. “Employers can use e-logs to track the number of miles driven or equations that take into consideration the amount of time drivers spend loading or unloading.”

Because of these hourly requirements, trucking companies will need to asses whether it is more beneficial to pay the penalities of eliminating coverage all together or providing for their employees.

The ACA requires employers to notfiy current employees of any changes in their health care coverage by October 1, 2013, and to provide notice to all new-hire employees at the time of hiring beginning October 1, 2013.

 

House Bill Would Tax LNG Based on Energy Output -TransportTopics.com

The federal tax on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and diesel gas is currently 24.3 cents per gallon. However, it takes 1.7 gallons of LNG to produce the same amount of energy in a gallon of diesel fuel.

A House bill co-sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) proposes to tax LNG based on energy output rather than a per-gallon basis. If passed, the bill would further drive the progressive movement from diesel to LNG.

“Companies are already beginning to make the switch towards natural gas vehicles, and this bill will knock down a significant barrier preventing companies from further harnessing this domestic energy source,” said Thornberry.

LNG Fuel

Find out about trucking and the carbon tax, Washington Troopers teaming up with truckers and the $1 million the DOT has released for the Skagit River bridge collapse after the jump. >>

DOT releases $1 million for Skagit River bridge collapse  - TheTrucker.com

Skagit River CollapseDOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced Monday morning that he is making $1 million in federal emergency funds available to Washing State immediately to help repair the I-5 bridge that collapsed last Thursday night.

A section of the four-lane interstate bridge collapsed into the water, knocking out traffic in both directions. The section of the bridge, located 60 miles north of Seattle, collapsed after the oversize load (pictured here) was forced to the right of the bridge by another hauler, causing the damage to the bridge.

The bridge carries an estimated 71,000 vehicles each day and is a major commercial route between Washington and Canada. Of those 71,000 vehicles, approximately 11 percent are commercial trucks.

 

Report shows trucking would suffer large economic loss to carbon tax - CCJDigital.com

The Congressional Budget Office released a report this week emphasizing that a carbon tax would cause industries that use more energy, including transportation, to “experience comparatively large losses in income” if a carbon tax were instituted.

Carbon Tax

The silver lining of the report says that depending on how the revenue from the carbon tax is used, losses for “energy-intensive” industries like trucking could be offset in different ways.

If the revenue is distributed to groups that are affected the most by the tax, the economic impact wouldn’t really be minimized and the tax could actually encourage more use of fossil fuels.

 

Washington Troopers Team Up With Truckers To Catch Agressive Drivers -CDLLife.com

Washington TroopersLast week, Washington State Patrol troopers rode shotgun with truck drivers scouting aggressive drivers then radioing to other troopers on the road who stopped the driver accordingly.

The week-long campaign, Ticketing Agressive Cars and Trucks Project (TACT), began in 2012. Over the first week of the campaign, troopers stopped a total of 485 drivers. Of those drivers, 280 tickets were issued.

During the second week of the campaing in 2012, 23 commercial drivers received tickets for driving aggressively around other big trucks.

The officers dedicated their time on Interstate 5 from Seattle to federal Way, Interstate 90 from Seattle to North Bedn, Interstate 405 from Bellevue to Tukwila, state 167 from state Route 18 to I-405 and state Routh 18.

 

 

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