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December 06, 2016   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Delivering the Holiday Season

If you order something online or even if you bought that gift at a store for the holidays, a diesel brought it.

Cyber Monday 2016 - the kick-off of the online holiday shopping season - achieved a new sales record with $3.45 billion spent online, a 12.1 percent increase over 2015; making it the largest day ever in the U.S. Meanwhile In Oneonta NY, a 14 ton, 96 foot tall Norway spruce was taken down and began its journey to Rockefeller center NYC to become the iconic NY Christmas tree.

What do online holiday shopping and a Norway spruce tree have in common? Both will get to their destinations largely thanks to diesel power. If you order something online or even if you bought that gift at a store for the holidays, a diesel brought it. Diesel trucks, trains, boats and barges move 90 percent of the nation’s goods – more than 18 million tons of freight each day. Our nation’s economy would come to a standstill without diesel engines to power the delivery trucks, tractor trailers, freight trains, ships and barges that haul consumer goods, raw materials and other commodities.

During the holiday shopping season, diesel power delivers more than ever, and this year does it for less. Retail diesel fuel prices are at $2.42/gal nationwide average and gasoline is a $2.15/gal. The cost of moving people and hauling groceries are most often equated to fuel prices - gasoline and diesel - both of which remain at stable low prices - according to the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, (EIA) and that helps hold down costs on transportation of food and holiday gifts.

Not only is diesel industry vital to our economy and quality of life but the entire diesel sector continues to improve the environmental performance of its products. More than 98 percent of the largest commercial trucks are powered by diesel engines, and today, 37 percent of all those on the road have the newer generation of clean diesel engines, in some states it is over 60 percent! Emissions from diesel trucks have been slashed by as much as 98 percent from pre-2010 levels, as industry now works to further improve fuel efficiency.

So as you or go about your holiday shopping this season, or see a Christmas tree adorned in a town square, know that clean diesel played a role in helping to make these traditions happen.


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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy

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