Downstate New York poised to lead way for cleaner home heating

By The National Biodiesel Board | June 26, 2017

Downstate New York counties are set to join New York City as national leaders in providing cleaner air through increased use of biodiesel in home heating oil, a product called Bioheat fuel. Legislation passed by Assemblyman Steve Englebright (A.6954-A) and Sen. Phil Boyle (S.B5422-A) would expand the state’s commitment to renewable energy by requiring heating oil sold in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties to contain at least 5 percent biodiesel (B5) by July 1, 2018. The bill now awaits action by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“By using more biodiesel in their heating oil New Yorkers will enjoy cleaner air, reduce harmful emissions, and experience an overall healthier environment,” said National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen. “This legislation builds on New York City’s continued commitment to clean energy and biodiesel while supporting local jobs and better choices for consumers.”

A broad range of industry and environmental advocates support the legislation due to its positive impacts on the environment, public health and local job creation in the nation’s largest heating oil market. Biodiesel was the first alternative fuel designated as an advanced biofuel by the U.S. EPA and has been verified to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent compared to petroleum.

New York City, the largest municipal consumer of heating oil in the country, has already taken advantage of biodiesel’s benefits by instituting a citywide 2 percent biodiesel requirement in October 2012 that increases to 5 percent later this year. This legislation would ensure the entire New York City Metropolitan Area, representing approximately 70 percent of the state’s heating oil market, would have a 5 percent biodiesel blending requirement.

“The adoption of a 5 percent minimum biofuel blending requirement for all heating oil sold in the downstate New York area heralds a new day for our industry,” said Kevin Rooney, CEO, Oil Heat Institute of Long Island. “Our goal for the past four years has been to establish ultra-low sulfur B5 as a uniform standard for cleanliness, efficiency, and environmental compatibility for the heating oil industry. And with the governor’s expected signature, this goal will soon become a reality. We extend our thanks to the National Biodiesel Board for their unwavering support of this vitally important legislative effort. The adoption of this legislation by the New York state legislature would not have happened without it.”

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. To be called biodiesel, the fuel must meet the strict quality specifications of ASTM D6751. It is the nation’s first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors, as well as the U.S. renewable diesel industry. Biodiesel is produced in nearly every state in the nation and supports more than 64,000 jobs nationwide.

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