Senator Nozzolio Fights Against New York City Senators’ Legislation to Raise Upstate Home Heating Costs

Michael F. Nozzolio

June 18, 2010

State Senator Mike Nozzolio today blasted the New York City legislators who control the State Senate for forcing through legislation that will likely create a dangerous shortage in the supply of home heating oil for Upstate communities. The legislation will cause home heating costs to rise drastically, increasing heating bills for the average Upstate family by up to $600 this winter!

“The families and the seniors in Upstate New York are struggling with already-high winter heating bills,” said Senator Nozzolio. “It is unconscionable that the New York City-controlled legislators would vote to raise home heating fuel prices and create a shortage where the people who depend on home heating oil the most won’t be able to get it.”

At the same time that Democrat Senators imposed a huge increase in the cost of heating oil used by Upstate homeowners, they exempted the type of heating oil that is used primarily in high rise apartment buildings in New York City. Under this New York City-driven legislation Upstate consumers will see their bills go up, while those Downstate will not!

“The hypocrisy and arrogance of the New York City Senators who enacted this legislation is appalling.  This measure makes it clear that their motivation is based on the needs of New York City alone, at the expense of Upstate homeowners who are being hit hardest in these tough economic times. They don’t want our interests to be represented or protected!” said Senator Nozzolio.

The legislation would mandate the reduction of sulfur content of #2 heating oil by July 1, 2012. Engineering evaluations show that it would take at least four years for refineries to meet these new sulfur content reductions. A recent study estimated the shortfall that will be caused by this inadequate amount of time to meet the new requirements would result in an increase in the price of home heating fuel by 20 to 30 cents per gallon, costing Upstate consumers $1 billion. Consumers could be forced to pay 60 cents more per gallon during a particularly cold winter, costing the average Upstate family up to an additional $600 to heat their home.

Senator Nozzolio strongly opposed and voted against this legislation, which was enacted by only one vote. He also put forward an amendment that would have pushed the compliance date back by two years to provide enough time for refineries to adopt the new standards and prevent a dangerous shortage in supply that would drastically increase costs for consumers. Unfortunately, the Senate majority rejected this amendment.

To watch Senator Nozzolio speaking against this legislation on the Senate floor, please click here.