Friday, April 8, 2011

Low-Sulfur Oil Under Attack by Senate GOP

The implementation of low-sulfur oil for home heating in New York could be delayed and weakened, as the Republican Majority in the Senate is again trying to push back the July 2012 schedule to 2014.
While in the minority, Senate Republicans voted against this initial proposal in 2010, but lost out. A month ago, as the majority, they added this proposal to their version of the budget. But after three-way negotiations and some outcry from environmental and health groups, it was not included in the final package.
Now, being sponsored by the party's #2 guy, Tom Libous, the Senate Republicans are again pushing for a delay until the summer of 2014. Not only would it delay the stricter sulfur standards, it would also relax them by over thirty times, as the maximum allowable sulfur content would go from 15 parts per million to 500 parts per million.
The memo from Libous argues that the current deadline would lead to higher prices, which has been routinely refuted by proponents of the deadline, which includes oil suppliers, like Oil Heat Manufacturers of Central & Eastern NY and the New York Oil Heating Association. “Savings would quickly outweigh the short term jump in price,” said Michael Seilback, the vice president of public policy for the American Lung Association in New York (in March), “and that’s exclusive of the health care savings.”
Additionally, the memo contends that implementation would be costly and not time sensitive, which was flatly rejected by the bill memo that created the low-sulfur guidelines.

No comments:

Post a Comment