2015-02-18 / Front Page

Constantinides Introduces Bill To Increase Biofuel In Home Heating Oil

Councilmember Costa Constantinides introduced INT. 642, which would increase the use of biodiesel in home heating oil.

The bill would mandate that home heating oil contain a five percent blend of biofuel by October 2016 and create a framework to up that blend level every five years until we reach 20 percent by 2030.  The current mandate, Local Law 43 of 2010, required home heating oil to contain a two percent blend by 2012.

Constantinides said, “As we move closer toward our city-wide commitment to reduce
carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050, we must take advantage of all opportunities to get us there.  Increasing biofuel in home heating oil will make our city more sustainable and healthy.  Buildings produce more 75 percent of our emissions and this bill will help reduce those emissions in an innovative way.  Increasing our biofuel use to a five percent blend in home heating oil would be equivalent to taking 45,000 cars off the road. 

Biodiesel also brings good jobs to our local economy."

Using a fove percent biofuel blend (B5) can reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 45,000 cars off the road.  B20 fuel can reduce carbon emissions by up to 40 percent, equivalent to taking 300,000 cars off the road.

A B20 policy would save the average household $600 more than five years on home
heating costs. The biodiesel industry supports more than 10,000 directand indirect jobs in New York.   

Biodiesel is sourced from used cooking oil from more than 20,000 restaurants  throughout the city.  It is also made from soybean plants using only the oil portion of the soybean - the protein portion remains available for food. U.S. Department of Energy researchers have also discovered a way to produce biofuel out of algae, and are exploring ways to make it
viable on a large scale.

“We applaud Council Member Costa Constantinides for introducing such an
environmentally forward-thinking bill that would increase the requirement in heating oil from B2 to B5 for all buildings in New York City and then scale up to B20 – or a 20 percent biodiesel blend,” said John Maniscalco, CEO of New York Oil Heating Association. “We look forward to continuing to work with the New York City Council and the Mayor’s
office to lead the City toward a more sustainable future. We are now in our third winter at a B2 bio-fuel standard and it has been an unequivocal success.  Now it’s time to move on to B5 blend and inch closer to an eventual goal of B20.”

"We are thrilled Councilman Constantinides has introduced legislation to bring cleaner air and more green jobs to the City through enhanced use of biodiesel.  Climate change is becoming a larger and larger issue and Councilman Constantinides is positioning himself as an early leader and visionary.  Reducing the carbon intensity of the City's space heating
fuel by more than 15 percent would be a major accomplishment,” said Shelby
Neal, Director of State Governmental Affairs, National Biodiesel Board.

Members of Teamsters Local 553 deliver biofuel that is used in home heating
oil. President of Local 553 Demos Demopoulos said, "The Teamsters commend Council Member Constantinides for his commitment to addressing climate change and environmental pollution in New York. Our members do essential work, delivering the fuel that keeps New Yorkers warm every winter. We look forward to working with the City Council and all stakeholders to bring cleaner fuels into our city."

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