And as scientists understand more about how human activity affects global climate, there has been a mass movement to control the amount of carbon we put into the atmosphere. While some people want to transition away from fossil fuels completely, that remains a controversial goal.
In the meantime, public pressure to do something about carbon is rising. Some Democrats and Republicans even managed to work together and put forward a limited carbon-related bill, a rare compromise in Washington.
As more carbon policies enter consideration,truck drivers should be aware of how this might affect them, especially with regard to fuel costs.
Carbon Taxes – Pay to Pollute?
Because large companies can dump multiple times as much carbon into the atmosphere compared to what a single person does in their lifetime, politicians are trying to limit their carbon emissions.
One plan taxes the company for how much carbon they emit. And over time, the price industries pay to pollute will be raised. As a result, politicians are hoping to encourage companies to switch over to methods of energy that aren’t reliant on carbon, especially renewables.
This sounds good so far. Big corporations clean up their act, and we can hopefully stem the effects of these brutal summer heatwaves.
Also, the money earned can be used to improve our roads and infrastructure, which would be a huge win for truck drivers.
But there’s one problem for truck drivers – fuel.
Truckers Pay the Price of Fuel Taxes
One of the industries carbon policies hit is oil and gas. To offset the price of their carbon taxes, fuel companies are likely to raise the price of gas.
A rising price of gas could put a real dent in annual truck driver profits, particularly owner-operators. Trucking companies could try to cut back on driver pay or simply raise the price of freight across the board to make up for the fuel taxes.
And if freight goes up, that cost gets passed onto the consumer.
As a result, truckers might lose twice. First,they have to deal with the extra gas tax as a result of their profession, and second, they have to deal with the rise in costs for their day-to-day purchases that are now more expensive.
The Class A Drivers Endorsement – Electric for the Future
First off, electric is not automated! They are not the same thing. Electric just means that instead of diesel, truck drivers will be charging up their trucks with a plug, but they’ll be emitting zero in carbon.
Automation means replacing truck drivers with automatic driving. This is still unsafe, and the technology is unrelated to whether or not the engine runs on diesel or not.
The problem of course is that there’s along road ahead. For long-haul trucks, range and availability of charging are an issue.
That said, if the trucking industry wants to dodge the incoming fees and taxes associated with carbon, electric will be the best path forward. Electric vehicles bypass carbon emission payments altogether.
Yes, buying new electric trucks is going to get pricey. But in the long run this will still be less expensive than forking over profits to pay for emissions. Plus electric is cheaper per mile anyway.
In the meantime, hopefully future fuel taxes and carbon bills can account for how these laws affect the prices of everyday goods and hurt working people like truck drivers.