October 13, 2005  


Granger Introduces Bill to Help Truckers Save Money on Gas; Reduce Air Pollution


“Gas prices have been high for months now and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita haven’t helped the situation. These tax credits will help truckers with exorbitant gas prices while also reducing air pollution,” said Congresswoman Granger. “In the wake of Katrina and Rita, we are doing what we can to help ease the burden on our citizens with issues such as high gas prices. This bill would also take a serious step toward further ensuring improving our air quality.”

The “Idling Reduction Tax Credit Act of 2005” 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. Truckers would manually switch over to the device for power when a truck is stopped rather than running a truck’s main engine.

Overall, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) estimates that idling trucks emit 5,000 tons of particulate matter per year. The EPA says that idling reduction devices could reduce ozone and particulate emissions (soot), as well as greenhouse gas emissions, by roughly 80 to 90 percent.
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. If passed, the bill could help reduce demand for diesel fuel in the United States.

The Federal Highway Administration’s 2003 Highway Statistics report found that unit trucks consumed 40 percent of all fuel consumption in the country, passenger vehicles consuming 44 percent. Industry experts estimate 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 Granger. The American Trucking Association is strongly supportive of Granger’s bill.

Granger serves on the Appropriations Committee and the powerful Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. She also serves as a Majority Whip. Granger is the first and only female Republican to serve in the Texas House delegation. Granger represents the 12th District of Texas and is currently serving in her fifth term in Congress.