A year-end editorial commentary from Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
“Are you ready for 2017? What does a Trump Administration mean in the world of diesel technology?” It’s anybody’s guess, so here’s mine…
In the world of numerology, 2017 is calculated to be a “universal year” of 1, which signifies new beginnings, new creations, and discoveries. Given that a new President and Administration is set to take power in less than 30 days, the metaphysical world seems to be in perfect harmony with the real world, at least for this moment.
But change is imminent. Whatever and however that change comes, our daily work and lives must go on, even as the tectonic plates of leadership and power shift alongside us. At the end of the day, work must be done.
Things must get moved, delivered, hauled, lifted and built. That’s where diesel power comes in to get it done. Diesel is a reliable and proven asset to rely on in any kind of conditions or weather, when things suddenly change, this industry is ready. Diesel technology today is proven, efficient, and available serving 15 sectors of the economy. Producing or servicing all those diesel engines directly generates more than $183 billion in annual economic activity and 1.25 million jobs.
It is said that major changes are coming in the economy, energy sectors and posture on environmental policy. Are you ready?
President-elect Trump has identified improving the economy and growing U.S. manufacturing jobs as high priorities. Positive and growth-oriented economic conditions are the greatest indicator of increasing investments in new technology, and there is a high level of anticipation. Global financial markets have been steadily gaining momentum since November. Since diesel technology is key to 15 sectors of the U.S. economy, when the economy grows, the diesel industry is set to grow. Everyone is ready for a stronger economy.
Greater investments in domestic production of energy have been a drumbeat from incoming President-elect Trump. After years of slower investments in off-road engines and equipment used in oil and gas production and transportation, diesel engine and equipment makers are more than ready to respond for more demand for new engines and equipment. Whether or not the President-elect goes all in for a robust U.S. energy policy, or tilts toward renewable fuels, the diesel industry is ready. Truth be told, the industry is already embodying both of these outcomes, already being the most efficient internal combustion engine and able to adapt to using blends of high quality renewable fuels made from animal waste, plant products or engineered sugars.
Reinvesting in America’s infrastructure has been high on the incoming Administration’s priority list and Congress has shown serious interest here as well. Road-building, water and sewer and telecommunications infrastructure investments require heavy lifting and all these activities drive demand for diesel engines and equipment. Engine and equipment dealers are shovel-ready right now and so is the diesel industry.
Diesel engine and equipment makers are proud of their environmental accomplishments. After all, they invested billions of dollars over the last 15 years to completely transform diesel engines to being the least-emitting internal combustion engines anywhere in the world. These new technology clean diesel engines, machines, trucks and equipment are now the baseline for our industries.
The best environmental policy for a new administration? How about a successful economic policy that drives deep and wide investment in replacement of old equipment and vehicles with new. Everyone is a winner in that scenario - pocketbooks of workers, lower costs of transporting goods, more efficient and productive farms and jobsites means cleaner air now and the diesel industry is ready for that.
So the simple message is that diesel engine and equipment makers are ready for whatever 2017 brings. Diesel technology is at work already making progress possible all across America and around the world. We’re ready to see more of these diesel engines and equipment to work building a first class infrastructure, creating a more robust economy and more jobs while also enhancing our environment and future mobility. We’re just plain ready.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a prosperous Happy New Year to everyone!