The Business Council opposes this legislation which would reduce the sulfur content of heating oil sold in New York to no greater than 15 parts per million (ultra low sulfur diesel).
While we support the concept of using cleaner burning fuels for heating residential and commercial buildings, we are concerned that this measure will increase prices on oil providers who will be forced to make major capital investments to meet the requirements of this bill. These costs will ultimately get passed on to consumers.
Currently ultra low sulfur diesel is approximately 8-cents a gallon more than number 2 distillate. Until ultra low sulfur diesel becomes the industry standard regionally it will mean increased prices on New York consumers.
Most of New York State meets federal air quality standards. Reducing sulfur content for some less affluent areas in the state is not the right move at this time. These areas can least afford the increased fuel costs. Any fuel oil sulfur reduction should be limited to relevant non-attainment areas and should be regional rather than New York State only.
Finally, oil providers should be given more time to make proper investments to produce low sulfur diesel supplies.
For these reasons the Business Council recommends against adoption of S.1145-C/A.8642.