New Legislation to Boost Cleaner-Burning Biodiesel in Heating Oil
Last year, NYC’s buildings phased out the dirtiest type of heating oil. And, on Sept. 28, the City Council passed Intro 642, a bill requiring buildings to use cleaner biodiesel blends for heating oil. Biodiesel is a clean-burning and renewable diesel replacement fuel that is produced from multiple resources like animal fats, soybean oil, and recycled cooking oil. Biodiesel is the first fuel that was commercially produced across the U.S. in order to meet the EPA’s requirements of an “advanced biofuel,” meaning the EPA has determined that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent when compared with petroleum diesel.
The legislation incrementally displaces 20 percent of the heating oil sold within the city with cleaner-burning, sustainable biodiesel. Specifically, the bill increases the amount of biodiesel in heating oil in the city from the current 2 percent level to 5 percent starting Oct. 1, 2017. The blend level then moves to 10 percent in 2025, 15 percent in 2030, and 20 percent in 2034.
It’s estimated that the increase from a 2 percent biodiesel blend to a 5 percent blend in the city would reduce the emissions equivalent to taking 45,000 cars off the road, and the increase to 20 percent the equivalent of removing more than a quarter of a million cars.