The American Trucking Associations voiced its support of H.R. 3383, which gives tax credits for the purchase of idling reduction systems for diesel-powered on-highway vehicles.

The "Idle Reduction Tax Act of 2009," as it's called, proposes a 50 percent tax credit, or up to $3,000 for each truck for which a device is purchased. The idling reduction equipment works by replacing the main engine's support of essential truck functions, including heating or air conditioning, when the truck is parked. The bill is being sponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Kay Granger (R-Texas).

"ATA appreciates the leadership of Rep. Blumenauer and Rep. Granger to make the purchase of idle reduction systems more affordable and widely distributed among fleets," said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO. "The initial capital cost of idle-reducing technologies has been a major barrier to trucking companies. This legislation will allow us to move forward with industry-wide efforts to reduce air pollution and fuel consumption related to idling."

On-board idle reduction devices, which include auxiliary power units, direct-fired heaters and battery-powered climate control systems, can cut idle-related fuel consumption by at least 80 percent, according to EPA estimates.

Reducing discretionary idling, or idling during rest periods, is one of the ATA's six sustainability recommendations.

To read the proposed bill, click here.