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DOT to Hold Meeting on Draft National Freight Strategic Plan


On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that the National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) will hold a meeting on Friday, November 13 to receive comments on the draft National Freight Strategic Plan.  NFAC was created to “provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on matters related to freight transportation in the United States.”  It also is charged with developing a National Freight Strategic Plan.  According to DOT, “the draft Plan describes the freight transportation system, including major corridors and gateways, and assesses the physical, institutional, and financial barriers to improvement. Importantly, the draft Plan also recommends specific strategies to help support our freight transportation system through improved planning, dedicated funding streams, and innovative technologies.”

A review of the draft plan indicates that there is almost no discussion of the role of alternative fuels or natural gas vehicles aside from an acknowledgement of how natural gas can help reduce emissions and petroleum use.  The limited coverage is surprising given the significant opportunities for natural gas to reduce costs of U.S. freight carriers and thereby improve economic competitiveness.  This benefic has not been lost on the current Congress as the House and Senate transportation bills include provisions directing the government to support the advancement of alternative fuel corridors.

Information about NFAC and the draft plan is available here. The DOT notice indicates that comments that are intended to be considered for the upcoming meeting should be submitted by November 6 but additional comments may be submitted after that time. Persons who wish to attend the public meeting should request to do so by November 6.  An email should be sent to freight@dot.gov. The notice appearing in the Federal Register is available here.