April 22, 2004  


Granger Bill Encourages Halt to Truck Engine Idling


Congresswoman Kay Granger today introduced legislation offering financial incentives to encourage the trucking industry to aid in the nation’s drive for cleaner air by reducing engine idling.

Granger’s Earth Day 2004 bill would provide the nation’s truckers federal income tax credits to purchase alternative power source devices and switch over to the device for power when a truck is stopped rather than running a truck’s main engine. 

The “Idling Reduction Tax Credit Act of 2004” would allow a tax credit of up to $3,500 for each truck outfitted with equipment described as “idling reduction devices.”  The units are small, electrically or otherwise powered units that service essential truck functions such as cabin heating or cooling systems and trailer refrigeration units that are normally powered by the truck’s main diesel engine.  The tax credit would pay for approximately one-half of the device’s full cost.

“On this Earth Day, cleaning up the nation’s air is a top priority,” said Congresswoman Granger. “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put scores of urban areas, including my district in the Fort Worth area, “on notice” that the air has to be cleaned and soon.  We must act immediately, and this legislation is a sensible step to meet this goal.”

“We have to attack the problem one source at a time,” Granger continued.  “The trucking industry has been looking seriously at alternatives, and it makes good sense to encourage the use of affordable and proven new technology to reduce pollutions generated by trucks.”

“A federal tax credit that allows truck owners up to 50 percent of the cost of the alternative idling power source will have an immediate impact on our clean air goals,” Granger concluded.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA), the nation’s largest trucking industry trade group, supports the goal of Congresswoman Granger’s legislation.  Bill Graves, ATA President and CEO, said “clean air is very important to the motor carrier industry, just as it is to every American.  Given the constant financial pressures on trucking companies to comply with costly federal equipment mandates, a tax credit for new stationary power sources makes a lot of sense and should help encourage their use.”

Under Congresswoman Granger’s legislation, the EPA and the Secretary of Energy would certify which of the alternative idle power devices meet appropriate standards to qualify for the tax credit.

Industry experts estimated that 15.5 million trucks operate in the U.S., with 1.9 million classified as tractor-trailer trucks that will benefit the most from tax credits proposed by Congresswoman Granger.  Experts estimate that the trucking industry accounts for 12. 8 percent of the motor fuel sold in the U.S. compared to automobiles and light vehicles that account for 63 percent of fuel consumption.