Monday, August 16, 2010

New Clean Heating Oil Newsletter Calls For Action On Clean Heating Oil Bills

A new Clean Energy Matters newsletter from the The Department of Environmental Protection is now available promoting bipartisan, Senate and House legislation to dramatically reduce the amount of sulfur in heating oil and require heating oil to have a biofuels content just like diesel fuel has already.
The clean heating oil bills-- House Bill 2578 (George) and Senate Bill 1282 (Erickson)-- will help Pennsylvania's 1.3 million heating oil customers reduce their heating costs, improve air quality, reduce health care costs and provide markets for famers.
If the General Assembly adopts the legislation, the sulfur content of heating oil will drop from 5,000 parts per million to just 15 ppm, the same ultra low level of sulfur now required for diesel fuel. The bill also requires heating oil to have the same biofuels content as diesel fuel.
Heating oil and diesel fuel are actually the same product, but now with different sulfur and biofuels content. The legislation would make them the same simplifying distribution of these products as well as making heating oil much cleaner.
The reduction in sulfur will improve the operating efficiency of existing furnaces dramatically by burning less heating oil and reducing the residues that build up in furnaces. And all without any changes on the part of homeowners.
According to a study commissioned by heating oil furnace experts, these efficiencies mean heating oil users will have to clean their furnaces less resulting in saving the equivilant of 14 cents per gallon in heating oil costs.
Statewide it means heating oil customers will reduce their heating oil costs by about $86 million every year.
Adding biofuels-- soybean oil and other blends-- to heating oil will help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports, help create more local markets for our farmers and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change by up to 1.1 million tons a year.
The legislation is supported by a unique coalition of groups-- the Pennsylvania Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, the American Lunch Association, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and other organizations.
To sign up for the e-newsletter and find out how you can support the legislation, visit DEP's Clean Energy Matters sign-up webpage.

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