Governor’s Veto Of Marcellino Bill Threatens Health And Raises Cost To Heat Homes With Clean Fuel

Carl L Marcellino

March 26, 2009


Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset) joined with Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) to announce that Governor Spitzer has vetoed Senator Marcellino’s legislation that would have extended the much-needed tax credit for the installation of Energy Star labeled home heating systems and would have extended the tax credit that encourages homeowners to use bioheat as a home heating fuel. The current law expired July 1, 2007.

"Allowing this law to sunset is a step backward. The current law is working extraordinarily well and is making an impact on our energy supply and cleaning our air and it should be continued to keep the momentum going," said Senator Marcellino

"This law was designed to encourage the installation of environmentally-friendly heating systems across the State to lessen our exposure to pollutants.  Residents may not be as likely to make these upgrades without this tax incentive," said Senator Hannon.

The legislation was supported by the American Lung Association of New York State, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Environmental Advocates of New York, Environmental Defense and the Alliance for Clean Energy New York.

"The Bioheat tax credit was the first legislation that showed NY homeowners that their government believes in a new renewable heating oil to meet their primary needs. I believe that the elimination of this tax credit halts all positive forward motion and would be devastating to the progress of the most significant environmental change in the heating industry in over 50 years," said Dennis Traina Jr., Vice President of Tragar Oil

Many home heating systems that are outdated cause multiple environmental problems. Homeowners often wait as long as possible before they replace such systems due to the cost. This bill would provide a necessary incentive to encourage the replacement of an outdated home heating system with a more energy efficient system. The bill also encourages the use of biodiesel that is beneficial to the environment and public health by reducing pollution.

Home heating oil is the second largest source of sulfur dioxide emissions in the state, causing nearly 42,000 tons of sulfur dioxide to be emitted each year. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists sulfur dioxide as a human carcinogen and it has been shown to trigger asthma attacks. "In Governor’s Spitzer’s address on clean energy strategies for New York, he stated ‘In terms of dollars and cents, it now costs one-third as much to save a given amount of energy through efficiency programs as it does to produce the same amount of energy by building a new power plant. The fact is, that energy efficiency now makes economic sense.’ I agree with Governor Spitzer, so I am perplexed as to why he would veto legislation that extends a law that makes economic, health and environmental sense," said Senator Marcellino.

This bill (S.5451) would have extended the tax credits for the purchase of energy efficient home heating systems and for the purchase of cleaner heating fuel oil. The bill would have extended the tax credit of up to $500 for the purchase of a fuel-efficient home heating system until 2009. The bill would also have extended the bio-heat tax credit, calculated at $0.01 per percent of bio-diesel content per gallon, and capped at $.20 per gallon until 2011. These credits were both originally enacted as part of Chapter 35 of 2006.

The news conference was held at the home of Ms. Carol Schulz who uses Bioheat in her home. Tragar Oil is one of 3 Long Island Companies to offer this service. Blended fuel can be used in almost every home without any additions or modifications to your present heating system