Spin Cycle

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ALBANY - Assemb. Steven Englebright on Tuesday moved a bill that would require heating oil to include a crop waste product that he said will make the fuel burn cleaner.

The “biodiesel” bill sponsored by Englebright (D-Setauket) was approved in the Environmental Conservation Committee where he is chairman. The bill pushed by the home heating fuel industry would also provide a tax break for producers.

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“Biodiesel often costs less and is rarely more expensive than the heating oil customers are using today,” Englebright said. He said the bill, supported by the New York Public Interest Research Group for reducing air pollution, would also provide a market for farmers.

The American Petroleum Institute, however, said the mandating biodiesel and the tax incentives will drive up the cost of fuel to consumers with minimal environmental benefit, a contention Englebright disputes.

Biodiesel with a mix crop waste product such as soybean oil has been used in New York City for three winter heating seasons and Englebright said it has reduced emissions from apartment buildings. His bill would extend the requirement to use biodiesel statewide for heating oil.

The Senate hasn’t yet acted on the measure.