Vermont continues the momentum for clean air policies in the North East by passing a requirement for renewable, cleaner-burning biodiesel to be used in home heating oil throughout the state.
Governor Peter Shumlin signed the Vermont Energy Act of 2011, which furthers the state's efforts to promote a green economy and energy independence. The broad-based energy legislation establishes low sulfur and biodiesel requirements for all heating oil sold in Vermont, timed to match implementation of similar legislation in surrounding states.
"This bill speaks to the North East region's continued commitment to using renewable, cleaner-burning fuels to heat their homes and businesses," said Shelby Neal, State Governmental Affairs Director for the National Biodiesel Board. "The Vermont policy builds on the strong partnership created between the home heating oil industry and the biodiesel industry to provide a more sustainable, cleaner energy solution through BioheatTM."
Biodiesel blends in home heating oil, a product called Bioheat, reduce particulate emissions, unburned hydrocarbons, and soot, which combine to greatly improve air quality in and around the home.
"The Legislature and Governor Shumlin backed this legislation all the way," said Netaka White, Secretary of Renewable Energy Vermont, and Bioenergy Program Director at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. "We got it done in Vermont; now it's up to the Congress to make sure every gallon of heating oil in the country contains ultra-low sulfur and clean, renewable biodiesel."
The legislation requires all heating oil sold in the state to contain a three percent biodiesel blend (B3) beginning July 2012, increasing to seven percent (B7) by 2016. Vermont becomes the ninth state in the nation to pass a statewide biodiesel requirement.
Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from readily available, renewable resources. It is a domestic, sustainable, cleaner-burning diesel replacement fuel that meets strict quality specifications.