Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) is submitting bill “Preserving Jobs in the 5 Oilfield Act of 2013” on the floor on Monday, March 11, 2013.
“Sand and water are critical components of drilling operations within the oil and gas industry. Subsequently, those who transport these elements to and from a well site are imperative to keeping production on schedule and operating safely, often on a moment’s notice. These drivers often have extended periods of down time waiting in the queue where they can sleep, eat, and watch TV. Due to this downtime, water and sand drivers for over 50 years did not have to record this “waiting time” against their hours of “on duty” driving time.
On June 6, 2012, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued regulatory guidance removing this long standing precedent, stating that these drivers would no longer qualify for the waiting time exemption.
FMCSA’s action has resulted in an increase of traffic coming in and out of well sites, causing added wear and tear to the roads. An increase in the number of trucks needed to do the work put a sudden, extra demand on the number of drivers needed. This has led to the use of less qualified drivers just to keep operations going. In turn, industry has experienced a 225% jump in payroll costs as well as an increase in insurance premiums, fuel costs and transportation costs.