JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The governor of Rhode Island signed landmark legislation recently that will ensure all of the state's heating oil becomes Bioheat® by 2014. Starting July 1, 2014, every gallon of oil heat in the state will contain at least 2 percent biodiesel. The Bioheat blend is a greener heating oil gaining popularity in Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states.
Although other New England states have passed similar bills, Rhode Island is on track to be the first to implement a statewide Bioheat requirement.
The National Biodiesel Board congratulated the local government and the state's heating oil trade association for the progressive move.
"I commend the Oil Heat Institute of Rhode Island for not sitting back and waiting for change to come to them," said Paul Nazzaro, who spearheads the Bioheat education program for the National Biodiesel Board. "They recognized Bioheat as the future of their industry that can reverse the contraction of their market, and they took control of their own destiny."
Julie Gill, executive director and CEO of the Oil Heat Institute of Rhode Island, said getting the legislation passed took persistence and commitment.
"We're proud that the Bioheat requirement has passed, because it will benefit not only our industry, but heating oil consumers in our state," Gill said. "Oil heat systems run more effectively with a biodiesel blend, and Bioheat will help heating oil be more environmentally competitive. We will continue to work towards making our product the cleanest fuel available."
The legislation gradually increases the blend from 2 percent to 5 percent by 2017.
Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from agricultural byproducts and co-products such as soybean oil and other fats and oils. It is the only domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel in the U.S., and supports 50,000 American jobs.