Council Bill To Call For Sustainable Heating

Written on: June 3, 2016 by ICM

BY YVETTE BROWN, Queens (NY) Tribune–
On Wednesday, May 25, Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) was joined by environmental groups to rally in support of his bill, which would ensure for more sustainable energy consumption by increasing the use of biodiesel in home heating.
The bill was introduced earlier this year and co-sponsored by 34 members of the Council. According to Constantinides, it would instruct 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.” After former Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed it into Local Law 43 of 2010, it is required that there should be a two percent blend in home heating oil. Mayor Bill de Blasio included cleaner heating oil as part of the One NYC plan’s progress and highlighted the elimination of the dirtiest heating oil, B6 oil.
By using a five percent biofuel blend, it can reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 45,000 cars off the road and it can reduce carbon emissions of up to 40 percent, which is equivalent to taking 300,000 cars off of the road.
According to Constantinides, a B20 policy would help save an average household $600 over five years on home heating costs.
There would be no added costs to homeowners if this policy were to be put in place. The biodiesel industry would support more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, including the Teamsters Local 553, who transport the fuel to buildings. Biodiesel is also sourced from used cooking oil from over 20,000 restaurants throughout the city and is also made from soybean plants by using the oil portion.
“This bill would help reduce pollution, clean our air quality, and improve our public health. The Council, administration, environmental advocates, and building owners who would need to implement this policy are in agreement that this is an important and doable step in our efforts to combat climate change,” said Constantinides. “Increasing biofuel in our home heating oil is a tested solution that will help bring us closer toward our goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.”
At an October 2015 hearing regarding the bill, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater New York and several environmental advocates testified in favor of it.
The policies have shown results and according to the Community Air Survey released in April, “the significant improvements we’ve seen in our air quality have been in our building emissions due to a conversation to cleaner heating oil.”
“As the union representing workers in New York’s heating oil industry, Teamsters Local 553 is committed to working with elected officials and businesses to make the heating oil that heats our homes cleaner and greener,” said Demos Demopoulos, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 553. “Our members live here and breathe the same air as everyone else.”
Courtesy of Queens (NY) Tribune