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NEFI Approves Net-Zero 'Policy Principles'

January 4th, 2021 - 4:59 pm

Report by Jim Collura, NEFI Vice President & Director of Government Affairs (jim.collura@nefi.com)

At its year-end meeting last week, the NEFI Board of Directors unanimously approved a set of Policy Principles for the Advancement of Renewable Liquid Heating Fuels. The document lays out five principles designed to ensure industry-wide success in pursuit of the industry's Providence Resolution goal of delivering a carbon-neutral (i.e., "net-zero") liquid heating fuel to consumers within 30 years.

The policy principles are as follows:

  1. Collaboration. Heating oil industry trade associations and advocacy groups at the national, regional, state, and local level must remain unified behind a shared vision and collaborate in good faith for the betterment of their members and the industry at large.

  2. Harmonization. State policies and related initiatives pursued throughout the industry should be harmonized to the greatest extent possible. Federal and multi-state (i.e., regional) policies should complement state policies and therefore be pursued in coordination with industry state associations.

  3. Affordability. Heating fuels are essential products that ensure the health and safety of American citizens. The heating oil industry (a) supports market-based climate policies that minimize cost impacts on consumers and small businesses and do not disadvantage our industry; and (b) opposes arbitrary taxes, including carbon taxes and fees and so-called "cap and invest" policies.

  4. Competition. Policies must be (a) fuel and feedstock agnostic and (b) performance-driven based on lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. The industry should identify and support a fair lifecycle methodology for carbon scoring and insist that it is applied universally.

  5. Incentivization. Incentives should be created or built in to existing policy frameworks that encourage investment into higher blends of renewable fuels and related infrastructure investments in the heating oil market. This includes tax policies and public and private grant programs. Market-based carbon reduction policies should be performance-driven and based on carbon intensity (as noted under Principle #4 above). Where such programs are established for other sectors, the heating oil industry, which can deploy low carbon fuels quickly and more cost effectively, should be allowed to generate renewable energy credits that assist these sectors in meeting their carbon reduction requirements.

"It is our hope that this document be considered by state and local industry associations and their boards," said NEFI President and CEO Sean Cota. "It is our hope that it will serve as a guide for overall advocacy efforts as the industry faces unprecedented policy challenges at every level of government in the months ahead."

Read the complete policy principles document online here.