Oil Shift Opportunity at the General Services Administration

Brian Skretny, ACSF Clean Transportation Director, describes why former military and business leadership support ACSF’s idea of leveraging a $1.5 billion government shipping contract to advance alternative fuel vehicles.

What transportation initiatives are the American Clean Skies Foundation working on now?

Our central focus is our Oil Shift program to break our dependence on foreign oil and simultaneously promote national economic, environmental and energy security goals. We’re working to shape certain specific government contracts as part of that program.

Oil Shift seeks to leverage the $150 billion the U.S. government spends each year on freight and delivery services to drive the growth of advance fuel trucks.

Oil Shift does not require new legislation, tax credits or regulation. All we need are new contracts — contracts that encourage the government to buy more transportation services from vendors that use natural gas, electric and other alternative fuel vehicles – and buy less from those that don’t.

One of the contracts we’re looking closely at is DDS3.

What is DDS3?

DDS3 is a five-year government-wide contract administered by the General Services Administration (GSA) that could be worth over $1.5 billion.

The DDS or Domestic Delivery Services contracts provide discounted rates to federal agencies for express and ground package delivery services within the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

The current Domestic Delivery Services contract, DDS2, expires in September 2014. DDS3 is the third generation of the contract.

Who will compete for DDS3?

We expect the nation’s leading package delivery service companies – FedEx, UPS, and maybe DHL — to compete for DDS3.

When will DDS3 be awarded?

GSA is likely to issue a Request for Proposal for DDS3 sometime this fall and to award the contract before the end of 2013.

Why is DDS3 Significant?

Leverage. The government is an enormous customer –by far the nation’s largest. With DDS3 it has the opportunity to leverage its purchasing power with some preferences for more sustainable and advanced services.

Successful businesses across the country thrive by finding effective ways to deliver customers what they want. The federal government should explain that it wants cleaner trucks coming to its loading docks. It should also request annual targets for reducing emissions, cutting petroleum consumption, and increasing the use of alternative fuel trucks.

The package delivery industry is highly competitive, and the federal government has the heft to push the market closer to a tipping point that could produce widespread rewards for the United States. Benefits would include more domestic jobs, cleaner air, and finally curbing the vast transfer of our wealth to oil rich nations in the Middle East.

Oil Shift is part of a movement, isn’t it?

Yes.

As Dennis V. McGinn, the President and CEO of ACORE said recently in a letter to GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini,

“Now more than ever, our transportation vehicles and fueling infrastructure must be transformed to meet 21st century needs. The new generation of transportation can be more cost competitive, profitable and resilient.”

Vice Admiral McGinn added, “This transition from a fossil fuels-dominated transportation infrastructure to one driven by greater efficiencies and renewable energy will build a stronger economy, a more secure nation, and a more viable job market, all while promoting a more sustainable global environment.”

In its groundbreaking Oil Shift report ACSF found the Obama Administration has all the authority it needs to inspire a new generation of advanced fuel trucks.

By including preferences in contracts like DDS3, it will send a message to the marketplace that companies making the strategic decision to switch to advanced fuels will be supported by the government’s own buying power. From there, the marketplace will take care of itself.

How do I get involved in this program?

Talk to me.

We plan to have more workshops to share best practices like we did in June.

If you want to be an endorsing or financially supporting organization of Oil Shift, contribute here.

Brian Skretny is the director of the clean transportation program at the Foundation. Contact him at [email protected]