|February 2, 2006|
WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week, Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) re-introduced legislation that would provide tax credits for the trucking industry to buy equipment that would help reduce air pollution while also helping truckers save money on diesel fuel.
"These tax credits will help truckers with exorbitant fuel prices while also reducing air pollution," said Congresswoman Granger. "After seeing fuel prices sky rocket in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we need to take every step we can to become less dependent on foreign sources of oil and ease the financial burden on our citizens. This bill also takes a serious step toward further improving our air quality."
The "Idling Reduction Tax Credit Act of 2006" would allow a 25 percent tax credit of up to $1,000 for the purchase of "idling reduction devices." These units service essential truck functions such as cabin heating or cooling systems 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 U.S. 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 the U.S. Department of Energy would certify which of the alternative idling reduction 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 2004 Highway Statistics report found that trucks consume 36.4 billion gallons of diesel fuel. Industry experts estimate that 26.2 million trucks registered and used for business purposes operate in the U.S. Many of these trucks will benefit the most from tax credits proposed by Granger.
Granger serves on the Appropriations Committee and the 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.