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January 26, 2013   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Press Release

North Carolina’s Economic and Transportation Systems Powered By Clean Diesel Technology


Contact: Steve Hansen (301) 668-7230 shansen@dieselforum.org

Did You Know . . .

Led by the state's two major ports, the Port of Morehead City and the Port of Wilmington, the state handles over 13 million tons of waterborne cargo a year. North Carolina ports directly and indirectly generate over 85,000 jobs which contribute $299 million annually in state and local tax revenues. Virtually all marine vessels and port equipment are diesel powered.

North Carolina accounts for close to half of the country's overall tobacco production, leading an agricultural industry which contributes $6.1 billion to the state GDP, the sixth largest in the country. There are nearly 48,000 farms in the state, with leading products including the largest Christmas tree, sweet potato and hog production in the country. This industry depends on diesel powered equipment, which utilizes nearly 50 million gallons of diesel fuel in the state on an annual basis.

Over 116 million tons of cargo is transported via freight rail over the 3,240 miles of railroads across the state. The state has the 12th largest trucking industry in the country providing employment for nearly 50,000. Both rail and truck transport are almost exclusively powered by diesel fuel.

Washington, D.C. - Advanced and clean diesel technology is vital to the stability and growth of North Carolina’s economy, transportation system and environment. To provide a comprehensive compilation of information on diesel’s importance to North Carolina, the Diesel Technology Forum has compiled a fact sheet based on local, state and federal data that examines diesel technology’s role in the state’s transportation and economic systems – “Diesel Powers North Carolina’s Economy”.

North Carolina's GDP totals $400 billion, the ninth largest economy in the country. Over 300 miles of coastline, scenic mountains and a fertile piedmont region make for one of the most beautiful and geographically diverse places in the country.

As the state economy transitions into sectors such as finance and research, traditional industries such as food product manufacturing and tobacco production will still play a prominent role, driving $25 billion worth of exports in 2008, a 7.4 percent increase from 2007.

A strong transportation network not only serves the transit needs for both freight and citizens, but also plays a critical role in supporting the fourth largest military presence in the nation. The functioning and growth of these industries rely on the latest diesel technologies (see below).

New Clean Diesel Trucks and Buses Have Near Zero Emissions

In the United States, emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses have been reduced by 99 percent for nitrogen oxides (NOx) - an ozone precursor - and particulate emissions. A key part of reducing emissions has been the shift to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel that has been available since 2006. This change in fuel specification reduced sulfur emissions by 97 percent – from 500 PM to 15 PM - and enables the use of advanced emissions control technologies. These same clean diesel technologies will be phased in for new off-road vehicles and equipment through 2015.

Existing older diesel vehicles can be retrofitted with these technologies to significantly reduce emissions while greenhouse gas emission reductions are being realized through growing use of hybridization and renewable fuels.

North Carolina’s Freight and Transit Systems Rely Heavily on Diesel Technology

Tourism: Tourism is one of the state's largest industries, directly supporting over 190,000 jobs. Domestic travelers spent over $16.5 billion in 2007, a 7.2 percent increase over the previous year. Diesel power plays a valuable role in bringing visitors into and around the state.

Mining: Although not thought of as a mining state, North Carolina's mining industry had a direct and indirect economic output of $3.7 billion. Again, diesel powered mining equipment keeps this industry in business.

Port and Marine: Led by the state's two major ports, the Port of Morehead City and the Port of Wilmington, the state handles over 13 million tons of waterborne cargo a year. North Carolina ports directly and indirectly generate over 85,000 jobs which contribute $299 million annually in state and local tax revenues. Virtually all marine vessels and port equipment are diesel powered.

Construction: North Carolina's eighth ranked construction industry is responsible for $16.7 billion towards the state's GDP. The industry provides jobs for 250,000. In support of the industry, over 65,000 pieces of construction equipment are utilized.

Agriculture: North Carolina accounts for close to half of the country's overall tobacco production, leading an agricultural industry which contributes $6.1 billion to the state GDP, the sixth largest in the country. There are nearly 48,000 farms in the state, with leading products including the largest Christmas tree, sweet potato and hog production in the country. This industry depends on diesel powered equipment, which utilizes nearly 50 million gallons of diesel fuel in the state on an annual basis.

Transit: North Carolina's urban transit bus fleet consists of 818 vehicles, 15 percent of which runs on biodiesel.

Ground Transportation: Over 116 million tons of cargo is transported via freight rail over the 3,240 miles of railroads across the state. The state has the 12th largest trucking industry in the country providing employment for nearly 50,000. Both rail and truck transport are almost exclusively powered by diesel fuel.

Public Health and Safety: The Charlotte Fire Department utilizes a fleet of 92 fire apparatuses. The Greensboro Fire Department responds to over 28,000 incidents a year with a fleet of approximately 30 vehicles. Roughly 2,000 ambulances are used across the state. These and all emergency vehicles are largely powered by diesel engines because of their durability and reliability.

Air Transportation: 409 aviation facilities support the state's 16th ranked air transportation industry. The industry is vital to the state, providing jobs for over 88,000 and resulting in $11.81 billion in economic impact per year. Aviation services are critical to many industries which depend on the diesel industry such as goods movement, agriculture and emergency services.

Fact Sheets Also Available For Other States

The Diesel Technology Forum has also compiled additional state fact sheets about diesel technology’s importance in other states throughout the U.S.

The Entire U.S. Also Benefits From Clean Diesel Technology

Nationally, the diesel industry contributes more than $480 billion annually to the U.S. economy, provides more than 1.25 million jobs, and supplies a substantial export-to-value ratio five times higher than the national average, according to a recent economic report released by DTF.

The reports states: “As policymakers look to promote cleaner, more fuel efficient technologies, its use will grow along with other competitive alternatives. Diesel technology’s future value is further enhanced by its suitability for hybrid applications and its readiness to utilize a diverse range of first and second generation renewable and biodiesel fuels.

“National fuel economy standards for cars and light-duty trucks beginning in 2017 are expected to be met in part by an increasing number of clean diesel passenger vehicle choices. Similarly, first-ever fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks and buses beginning in 2014 will drive further innovation and efficiency gains in diesel technology as a key compliance strategy.”

More Than 80% of All Freight in U.S. Is Transported By Diesel Power

Other facts outlined in the economic report include:

Diesel Moves 80 Percent of All Freight: Diesel-powered trucks, trains, ships and intermodal systems moved 83 percent of freight by value ($11.7 trillion) and 85 percent by weight (12.5 billion tons) in 2007.

Diesel Powers Over 70 Percent Transit Buses: Approximately 71 percent of transit buses and 58 percent of commuter rail passenger-miles are provided by diesel-fueled trains.

Clean Diesel Auto Sales Projected To Increase Significantly: Currently, only 3.4 percent of the cars in the U.S. are diesel-powered. Diesel accounts for a larger share of pickup trucks (13.6 percent). However, clean diesel sales are increasing and diesel auto sales increased 27.5 percent during the first six months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011 (the overall automobile market increased 14.9 percent). Some analysts predict that diesel passenger cars will account for 10 percent of the market by 2015.

ABOUT THE DIESEL TECHNOLOGY FORUM

The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit national organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. For more information visit www.dieselforum.org.

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Media Inquiries:
Sarah Dirndorfer
Manager, Media Relations
sdirndorfer@dieselforum.org
(301) 668-7230

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