CHICAGO, April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At the tri-national summit examining the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), government, transportation and energy officials will explore diesel power's role in expanding future trade while also improving air quality.
The NAFTANEXT Summit which is being held in Chicago beginning April 22nd through April 25th will gather U.S., Canadian and Mexican transportation, trade, energy and government leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities created by increased trade and the future of freight mobility, energy and sustainability. The summit will closely examine how transportation, energy and environmental infrastructure will work together in North America.
Diesel Technology Moves 80% of All U.S. Cargo – 90% Internationally
"Diesel technology moves more than 80 percent of all cargo in the U.S. and more than 90 percent throughout the world," said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the U.S.-based Diesel Technology Forum. "As such, diesel is the prime mover of the global economy whether by truck, train, boat or barge. This was true when NAFTA went into effect 20 years ago in 1994 and thanks to the transformation to clean diesel technology will be true into the foreseeable future.
"As our three nations gather to discuss the 20 years of NAFTA and its future, we'll also recognize the benefits of a cleaner environment and role of diesel technology as the economic engine for free trade in North America. In the U.S. we can now move cargo on trucks that have virtually zero emissions and improved fuel economy that saves money for equipment owners.
"In 2014, 97 percent of all medium and heavy duty trucks purchased in the U.S. will include this new diesel technology which will further enhance our goal of moving freight in a cleaner and more efficient manner. Natural gas and other alternative energy sources will make up the remaining three percent."
The Diesel Technology Forum (www.dieselforum.org) is a sponsor of the conference and serves on the Advisory Committee for the tri-national summit.
Schaeffer will be the Discussion Leader for a forum on Wednesday entitled "Powering New Freight Systems" that will include a technology update from Dr. Don Stanton, Director of the Advanced Engine Development for Cummins Inc., and Marti Lenz, the Director of Engine Development for Electro-Motive Diesel – two leading North American manufacturers of engines and equipment used to move NAFTA trade. The new engine technologies are improving fuel consumption and emissions and the forum will also examine how a variety of hybrid technologies are being adapted to improve freight efficiency, and how new sources of North American energy will play a role in moving commerce.
During 20 Years of NAFTA, Diesel Trucks Reduce PM and NOx By 98%
"The advancements in clean diesel technology over the past 20 years have been simply remarkable," Schaeffer said. "Over the past two decades manufacturers have developed new technology that has reduced particulate matter by 98 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 98 percent. In addition, ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel has reduced sulfur by 97 percent – from 500 ppm to 15 ppm.
"Virtually all of this clean diesel evolution has occurred during the NAFTA years and has resulted in significant environmental and efficiency benefits. This advanced diesel technology will provide further benefits as we move forward with this trade agreement.
"The new generation of clean diesel heavy duty trucks now accounts for more than one-third of all trucks registered on the road in the U.S.," Schaeffer said. "And the older trucks are now required to use the ultra-low sulfur diesel and many have added new filters to reduce emissions."
Diesel's Role in U.S. Transportation & Economic Growth
As the North American economy grows, so does the need for diesel fuel. The U.S. is self-sufficient in refining its fuel and even exports diesel fuel to other countries. Refineries accounted for the largest proportion of diesel-related exports, at $9.5 billion.
The diesel technology producing and servicing sectors directly contributed $183 billion and 1.25 million jobs to the U.S. economy in 2009 and another $300 billion was created through indirect and induced ripple effects.
Altogether, diesel product and fuel exports represented $46.2 billion or 4.35 percent of U.S. exports in 2009, with an export-to-value ratio that was five times higher than the national average.
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).
Diesel Is Dominant In Agriculture, Mining & Construction Industries: In 2009, agriculture produced $330 billion in output, of which $27.2 billion was for farm sales, contributing $176.6 billion to the nation's GDP. Total added value of agriculture to the U.S. economy is estimated to be $365 billion.
Diesel Powers Extractive Industries: Over 60 percent of mining and fuel production equipment is diesel-powered. The nation gets 93 percent of its energy from mined sources, such as petroleum, natural gas, coal and uranium.
Construction Relies on Diesel: Diesel is the dominant fuel source, powering 60 percent of construction equipment and using 98 percent of all energy.
Clean Diesel Auto Sales Projected To Increase Significantly: Currently, only 3 percent of the cars and pickup trucks in the U.S. are diesel-powered. However, clean diesel sales are increasing. Some analysts predict that diesel passenger cars will account for 10 percent of the market by 2020.
The numerous government and private sector participants include:
Gary Doer, Canadian Ambassador to the United States
Lisa Raitt, Canadian Minister of Transport
Stéphane Dion, Former Canadian Minister of the Environment, Member, Canadian House of Commons
Dr. Carlos Almadato, Mexican Undersecretary of Transportation
Kenneth Smith Ramos, Minister Counselor, Trade and NAFTA Office, Embassy of Mexico
Anthony Foxx, U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Rodney Slater, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Sam Skinner, Former White House Chief of Staff and U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Commission for Environmental Cooperation
Dr. Irasema Coronado, Executive Director, Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)
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, and working with policymakers and other stakeholders on common solutions. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology. For more information visit www.dieselforum.org.
For the latest insights and information from the leaders in clean diesel technology, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @DieselTechForum, or YouTube @DieselTechForum and connect with us on LinkedIn.