U.S. Fuel Distributors, Farmers Launch Joint Climate InitiativeMarch 5, 2021
PROJECT CARBON FREEDOM SEEKS TO ADVANCE EQUITABLE, COMMON-SENSE CLEAN ENERGY
WALTHAM, MA — A cross-industry climate initiative by the U.S. liquid energy and agricultural sectors aims to affordably and equitably decarbonize five million homes across the Northeast by transitioning to renewable liquid heating fuel in alignment with state carbon-reduction targets.A virtual launch of the campaign, Project Carbon Freedom, will be hosted by Eric Slifka, CEO of Global Partners LP, and Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, on Monday, March 8, at 1:00 pm ET.
The launch of Project Carbon Freedom, coalition leaders say, will help facilitate advocacy and coordination between heating oil distributors, farmers, domestic biodiesel producers, and policy makers from the Northeast and Midwest to chart — as an alternative to forced electrification — an economically, environmentally and socially responsible path to complete decarbonization of the residential heating oil market across New England and New York. This first-of-its-kind initiative brings together the region’s wholesale and retail fuel community, equipment manufacturers, and the agriculture sector to break historical barriers in support of shared climate policy action.
– Eric Slifka, CEO, Global Partners LP
Over the past two decades, the heating oil supply pool has been increasingly cleansed of sulfur and blended with renewable, clean-burning biodiesel to create ultra-low-sulfur Bioheat® Fuel. Commonly delivered to customers today as five- to 20-percent bio blends (B5 to B20), some of today’s forward-thinking fuel retailers are delivering blends of up to B40 and B50, which is cleaner and more renewable than both natural gas and electricity. There are heating fuel customers right now whose conversion to electric heat would represent an increase in their carbon footprint.
– Donnell Rehagen, CEO, National Biodiesel Board
According to analysis by global management consultancy firm Kearney, a decarbonization plan that increases biodiesel supply to the Northeast, while supporting the ongoing commercialization of complementary advanced biofuels, represents the most realistic and responsible path forward to net-zero home heating.
“Months of research conducted by Kearney demonstrates that heating oil-biofuel blending provides the most cost-effective and immediate path to reduce fossil energy use and carbon emissions,” said Kearney partner Neal Walters. “Our findings show that this strategy is both affordable and easier to implement than electrification for home heating in the Northeast.”
Additionally, clean energy legislation that includes the deployment of renewable liquid heating fuel:
- Supports small businesses and farmers.
- Utilizes billions of dollars in existing assets, supply chain infrastructure, and a workforce of more than 160,000 liquid heating fuel professionals to deliver a commercially viable advanced biofuel already in use today.
- Tempers utility costs forecasted to rise due to increased adoption of electric vehicles.
- Promotes environmental justice, energy security, and jobs in our communities.
- Reduces GHG emissions immediately, rather than waiting on decarbonization of the power grid.
- Takes a significant load off the region’s burdened electric grid as it struggles to meet increasing demand with weather-dependent renewables.
“Clean energy policy that puts an elected official in the position of asking a constituent to pay tens of thousands of dollars to increase their carbon footprint is not only counter-productive, but erosive of public trust in government at a time when we should actively be working to restore it,” said Slifka. “There’s a more responsible, equitable path to net-zero home heating that will universally benefit the homeowners, small businesses, and communities our elected officials represent. Project Carbon Freedom looks forward to working with them in earnest to that end.
About Project Carbon Freedom
Project Carbon Freedom brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to advance clean energy legislation that supports the deployment of renewable liquid heating fuel in order to efficiently, affordably and equitably decarbonize the residential heating sector across the northeastern United States. Through outreach, education and advocacy, Project Carbon Freedom will raise public awareness of the decades-long effort by the liquid heating fuel industry, in partnership with the agricultural sector, to provide homeowners with a renewable heating fuel that’s increasingly clean, safe, and energy efficient, and which represents the most prudent, affordable, and expedient path to complete decarbonization of the residential heating sector.