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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cooking oil to heating oil

Senate approves Biodiesel Heating Oil Act of 2013
STATE HOUSE – With the hope of positioning Rhode Island as a leader in an emerging biofuels market, the Senate has passed a bill that would require all No. 2 distillate heating oil sold in the state to contain a specified percentage of a bio-based product.

The legislation (2013-S 0816A), sponsored by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham), encourages production of biofuels to help create jobs while promoting energy independence. The Senate approved passage of the bill in a 36 to 0 vote.

“There are a lot of indirect positives that could come from this passing law,” Senator Sosnowski said. “Aside from jobs, which has been the Senate’s top priority, this will also bring us closer to better air quality, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and cost savings with the production of more efficient heating equipment. We also need to look at the big picture and stay in step with our nation’s desire to become less dependent upon foreign energy sources.”

The bill includes a compliance schedule, which begins in July 2014 with a 2 percent bio-based product requirement. By July 1, 2017, all No. 2 distillate heating oil sold in the state would be required to contain at least 5 percent bio-based product. The governor of Rhode Island would also have the power to temporarily suspend the requirements if physical availability of bio-based product heating oil is inadequate at commercially reasonable prices.

Rep. Arthur Handy (D-Dist. 18, Cranston) sponsors the House companion bill (2013-H 5802). Cosponsors include Representatives Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown), Donna M. Walsh (D-Dist. 36, Charlestown, New Shoreham, South Kingstown, Westerly), Edith H. Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence) and Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett). The House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources held a hearing on the legislation and recommended it be held for further study.