On behalf of PennEnvironment’s citizen members, I am writing to urge you to support “Clean Heat” legislation, which will reduce the harmful levels of sulfur pollution from home heating oil and off-road vehicles. Senator Erickson introduced this legislation in the state senate during the last session (SB1282), while Representative George had introduced sister legislation in the house (HB2578) last year.
This legislation would remove dangerous sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution from our air. As you may know, study after study have shown that higher levels of SO2 pollution are responsible for more frequent asthma attacks, chronic bronchitis and even premature death. In fact, air quality is so bad across the Commonwealth that more than five out of six Pennsylvanians live in an area that receives a failing grade for air quality from the American Lung Association.
In order to reduce these statistics, “Clean Heat” legislation would keep over 26,000 tons of sulfur dioxide pollution from our air. It will achieve reductions in SO2 pollution by requiring the use of cleaner burning fuel in home heating oil and in diesel fuel for off-road vehicles.
If Pennsylvania fails to pass this legislation, PA-DEP predicts that Pennsylvania will become a “dumping ground” for high sulfur home heating oil from New York, as companies in New York move to meet the requirements of similar legislation that has already passed in Albany. Instead, the addition of a higher percentage of biodiesel in both our heating oil and in off-road machinery as required by this legislation would take another important step to jumpstart Pennsylvania’s growing biodiesel industry and create jobs right here in the Commonwealth.
Passing clean heat legislation is a critical step to reducing unnecessary pollution from our off-road machinery and home heating oil. This legislation would give rise to new markets for the biodiesel industry in Pennsylvania, strengthening our state and local economies.
PennEnvironment asks you to call on leadership to ensure that such legislation, which is a win-win for Pennsylvania’s clean air and the state’s green energy economy, pass as soon as possible.
To cosponsor this legislation, contact Tom Golden at Senator Erickson’s office at 717-787-1350. Please do not hesitate to contact me at the PennEnvironment by phone at 214-500-1949 or by email at [email protected] with questions.
Clean Energy Associate