The National Energy & Fuels Institute and the Advanced Biofuels Association will work together to promote government policies and industry initiatives that support use of biofuels in the home energy market, the groups announced.
The liquid heating fuel retailers comprising NEFI and the biofuel producers comprising ABFA said they want to promote solutions that will help to achieve net-zero economy-wide emissions by 2050.
“Renewable liquid heating fuels are already supplanting millions of gallons of conventional heating oil across the country; thereby increasing energy and environmental security, driving down greenhouse gas emissions, supporting rural economies and local small businesses, and avoiding expensive heating system conversions,” the organizations said in a March 17 announcement.
“Advanced and cellulosic biofuels, some of which have been used to heat homes for nearly 20 years, deliver a minimum of 50% greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions compared to fossil-based alternatives,” they said.
NEFI and ABFA said they will seek opportunities to work with the Biden Administration and Congress to leverage the potential for GHG reductions “without jeopardizing small businesses or placing costly new burdens on consumers.”
NEFI represents the nation’s retail distributors of liquid heating fuels and related products and services–mostly family owned and operated small businesses. Eighty-five percent of the homes using liquid heating fuels and related products are in the Northeast region from Maryland to Maine.
At a NEFI-sponsored heating oil summit in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2019, hundreds of industry professionals ratified a pledge to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and deliver a net-zero liquid heating fuel to consumers by 2050. Studies by IHS Markit and Kearney Consulting have since concluded that the goals of this document, known as the Providence Resolution, can be achieved through greater use of renewable fuels.
“We can and will achieve net-zero by 2050,” said Sean Cota, NEFI’s president and CEO. “Vigorous research and testing of renewable liquid heating fuels find they efficiently decrease emissions and do so at little to no cost to the consumer. Unlike electricity, which is still largely generated by fossil fuels, renewable liquid heating fuels can be stored and delivered by our small family businesses and utilized by American families during the most severe winter weather. If government policies are performance-based, appropriately measure greenhouse gas emissions, and designed to minimize consumer impacts, we will do very well. This shared vision for market-driven and pro-consumer policies forms the foundation of NEFI’s partnership with ABFA.”
ABFA represents more than 40 member companies in the United States and around the world that develop, produce, and distribute advanced biofuels. Collectively, these companies produce 4.7 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel each year, including cellulosic heating oil, ABFA says. The group also represents distribution firms who are among the largest generators of D4 Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) in the U.S., marketing and selling biodiesel and renewable heating oil around the country. Michael McAdams, president of ABFA, said his association has had a close relationship with NEFI since 2015, when the two began working together to protect the federal biodiesel blenders’ tax credit.
“We are pleased to now formalize this long-time partnership,” he said. “ABFA and NEFI share a vision for a low-carbon future for the liquid fuels industry that is critical to both American competitiveness and environmental security. I can tell you firsthand, the folks at NEFI are some of the best ‘boots on the ground’ in the Northeast states and in Washington. We would not have successfully reinstated the blenders’ tax credit without their support. Today the liquid fuels industry faces even greater challenges and I want them by my side going forward.”