The American Trucking Associations (ATA), a lobbying group for the trucking industry, has launched “Operation Diesel Watch” to watch for price gouging among diesel fuel suppliers. The ATA said it is asking its member motor carriers and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations to immediately begin daily monitoring of truck fuel price increases and fuel availability so ATA can report any questionable practices to the White House and federal energy authorities.

The effort, said ATA, was prompted by widespread reports of dramatic fuel price increases this week following Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, DC. While the national average for diesel fuel was $1.49 a gallon on Monday, September 10, trucking industry fuel services have reported price jumps up to seven percent since then. A Fort Cobb OK truck stop reportedly charged $3.00 a gallon yesterday.

William Canary, the ATA’s interim president, took fuel price complaints directly to the White House Council on Economic Advisors yesterday and received a commitment to monitor the fuel price situation. “The jumps in diesel prices within hours of these disasters can't be justified in any possible way,” said Canary.

In addition to reporting alleged price gouging to ATA and state trucking associations, trucking companies can pass the information on to the U.S. Department of Energy Hotline (1-800-244-3301). Further, several states have anti-gouging regulations in effect during national and state emergencies and trucking companies are urged to report problems to the appropriate officials at that level.