Rep. Johnson proposes TIRE Act to curb pollution, oil dependence
With the country's environment and dependence on foreign oil in mind, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) proposed legislation April 3 known as the TIRE Act (Tire Investment, Recovery and Extension Act) of 2009.
Designed to motivate companies through tax incentives to use truck tires with recycled rubber, the Act [HR 1888] aims to curb the number of tires thrown in landfills while at the same time cut back on the amount of fossil fuels needed to produce them.
According to Federal data, each car tire requires seven gallons of petroleum to make, and each truck tire takes 22 gallons. Altogether, it takes 2.6 billion gallons of oil to make America's tires each year.
"More than 280 million tires are manufactured in this county every year," said Johnson. "Of that 270 million are thrown away annually - that's about one tire per person, per year. If this becomes law, as a nation we can save up to 750 million gallons of oil per year."
That is the equivalent of saving nearly 18 million barrels of oil a year.
The Tire Act will offer companies a temporary tax incentive of $3 per tire for five years if they tires manufactured with recycled materials.
Recent technological advances in the processing of recycled rubber has expanded the industry's options when it comes to utilizing these byproducts in new tires.
Lehigh Technologies - one of the most advanced rubber recycling plants in the world - is in Tucker, Ga., in the northern swath of Johnson's district.
"This bill just makes sense," said Johnson. "It helps us become more fuel-efficient, cuts back on our waste and generates green jobs that will continue well into the future. If every new tire had just 10 percent recycled material in it, we could save a gallon of oil."
Companies or individuals who use more than 100 vehicles in any trade or business during a taxable year are eligible for the credit. The program is good for five years and shall not exceed $100 million in tax credits.