Industry groups cheer New York State Bioheat legislation

By The National Biodiesel Board | June 24, 2013

Last week, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed legislation that sets a new standard for all heating oil sold in the state, requiring it to contain at least 2 percent biodiesel (B2, known in the industry as Bioheat) by 2015. A broad range of industry and environmental groups voiced support for the legislation, which will reduce air emissions and create jobs throughout the nation's largest heating oil market. 

“America's advanced biofuel and Bioheat are a great fit for New York's heating oil market,” said Shelby Neal, NBB director of state governmental affairs. “Creating a standard that includes at least 2 percent biodiesel will replace about 30 million gallons of petroleum annually with a cleaner burning, renewable fuel.”

Biodiesel is the first alternative fuel designated as an advanced biofuel by the U.S. EPA to reach a billion gallons of annual production. It is domestically produced from agricultural coproducts and byproducts such as soybean oil, animal fats, and recycled cooking oil.

“New York state's crop farmers are growing more and more soybeans every year,” said Julia Robbins, executive director of the New York Corn and Soybean Association. “This policy will help provide New York farmers with a new market for the state's soybean oil.”

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 of 2012.

“Extensive testing has clearly shown that biodiesel blended with traditional heating oil is safe, seamless, and actually improves fuel efficiency through cleaning and preserving equipment,” said John Maniscalco, CEO of the New York Oil Heating Association. “This law extends these tremendous benefits to all New Yorkers and will provide the state with the cleanest, most sustainable heating oil in the country.”

Not only is Bioheat cleaner, it creates economic activity that benefits consumers.

“A uniform fuel standard for Bioheat across New York State will promote investment in the heating oil industry and increase the number of green collar jobs and overall opportunity in the state,” said John A. Catsimatidis, CEO of United Biofuels Inc. “These are jobs that can't be shipped overseas and provide economic activity in our own communities.”

The legislation calls for all heating oil sold in the City of New York, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, and Rockland counties to contain at least two percent biodiesel by Oct. 1, 2014, and all heating oil sold statewide to meet this standard by July 1, 2015. The legislation will become effective upon the governor's signature. 

The legislation was supported by the City of New York, Office of the Mayor; NYC Citywide Administrative Services; Environmental Defense Fund; American Lung Association in New York; New York League of Conservation Voters; WE ACT for Environmental Justice; Environmental Advocates of New York; New York Public Interest Research Group; Empire State Petroleum Association, Inc.; Oil Heat Institute of Long Island; New York Oil Heating Association, Inc.; United Metro Energy Corp.; New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association; and the National Biodiesel Board.

To be called biodiesel, the fuel must meet the strict quality specifications of ASTM D 6751. Biodiesel has been tested extensively in both on-road and space heating applications. It is produced in nearly every state in the country and last year supported some 50,000 jobs nationwide. 


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