From WAVY.com, VA. (4/4/08)
Truckers shut down, protest high gas prices
Posted: April 3, 2008 05:43 PM
Updated: April 4, 2008 02:06 PM
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY.com) -- Chris Evans remembers the good ole' days of truck driving, not too long ago, when diesel prices were about two dollars a gallon.
"It was awesome. It was great to be a trucker then," remembers Evans.
But now, he says those days are gone, replaced by soaring gas prices and shrinking profits for independent truckers, who rely on driving more miles to make more money.
"I hold about 240 gallons, but I haven't filled up," Evans says. "I haven't topped off these tanks in three to four weeks now."
The U.S. Department of Energy says high worldwide demand for diesel has forced prices near the $4 per/gallon mark. Adding to the problem, a switch to low-sulfur diesel has slowed production for American refineries.
On Friday, many independent truckers - truckers like Derek Langley - will shutdown for a day to draw national attention to the problem.
"We don't know if this is going to mean anything to anybody, but it means something to us," says Langley.
"If we don't unite together and stand for one thing, we won't come together to stand for nothing."
As the price of diesel climbs to new records, even Langley isn't sure how long the cost of gas will cost him his wages.
"I'd rather park it and not make nothing than keep driving it and still not make nothing."
Truckers say they're prepared to protest for a full week in late April or early May if Friday's shutdown doesn't bring enough attention to the problem.
The Department of Energy says diesel prices are likely to remain high until crude oil prices come down.