Bloomberg signs biodiesel bill

By Luke Geiver | July 13, 2010
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Posted Aug. 18, 2010

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially made the Big Apple and biodiesel-blended heating oil synonymous. During an official signing in the Blue Room at City Hall, Bloomberg signed Intro 194-A, requiring all grades of heating oil sold in the city to contain at least 2 percent biodiesel starting in October 2012. "I actually call it sexy," said Danny Falcone, wholesale manager for Ultra Green Energy Services LLC. There's no denying this looks good to the industry, Falcone said.

Three weeks earlier, the New York City Council unanimously voted to pass legislation, originally sponsored by Chairman of the New York City Council Environmental Protection Committee, James Gennaro, requiring all heating oil to contain biodiesel. Now, according to Brent Baker, CEO of Tri-State Biodiesel LLC, the official legislation symbolizes the end or era marked by misinformation surrounding biodiesel.

"Early on they asked me if it was true what they say about biodiesel," Baker told Biodiesel Magazine in regards to governing officials weighing the facts on biodiesel nearly four years ago. "It's been a long time coming," he added, "but when the Mayor's office came on board, it was a clear signal that they got it."

During the ceremony, Bloomberg said the legislation will "significantly reduce pollution, promote the use of alternative fuels, create new 'green' jobs and vastly improve air quality throughout the city." The legislation, Bloomberg added, will promote cleaner burning heating fuels, helping the city to meet air quality initiatives from PlaNYC 2030. John Maniscalco, CEO of the New York Oil Heating Association, has said that approximately 10 percent of the city's oil heat distributors currently supply a biodiesel-blended heating oil to customers. The two-year delay, Maniscalco said, should provide the remaining oil dealers with enough time to upgrade biodiesel distribution infrastructure.

"If we have the ability to do this in New York City, it should be a sign to every other city and every other state that this can work," Falcone said. Consistency in the language and factual information used to describe biodiesel is important to ensuring the fuel's place in the future, Falcone continued. "As an industry," Baker said, "we've experienced a major bump in the road, but this bill is a validation for biodiesel in the state of New York and the industry."
 
 
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