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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 25, 2019 08:59 AM
From: Representative Patrick J. Harkins
To: All House members
Subject: Providing for biodiesel content and standards in diesel fuel used in residential and commercial heating systems.

According to the United States Department of Energy, 100 biodiesel plants across the county produced nearly two billion gallons of biodiesel in 2017. Most of this production has been for use in on-road compression engines, even though biodiesel can also be used as heating oil. Since 2008, with the passage of the Biofuel Development and In-State Production Incentive Act, diesel fuel sold in Pennsylvania to consumers for use in on-road compression ignition engines has had a mandated biodiesel content. These biodiesel content standards, however, do not apply to diesel fuel sold for use in commercial and residential heating systems. We have an opportunity to aid in the growth of an important industry, create jobs right here in Pennsylvania and help to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by expanding the biodiesel content standards to include diesel fuel that is sold for use in residential and commercial heating systems.

According to the United States Department of Energy and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, biodiesel is a domestically produced clean-burning renewable fuel that is manufactured from new and used vegetable oils, animal fats, and recycled restaurant grease. Although biodiesel’s physical properties are similar to those of petroleum-based diesel fuel, biodiesel is non-toxic and biodegradable. It also provides a cleaner burning alternative to conventional petroleum-based fuels, producing less carcinogenic and greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, an added benefit of the production of biodiesel is glycerin, a valuable byproduct of biodiesel that is most often used in the production of soaps and other personal care products.

It is imperative that we pursue all options with regard to alternative fuel sources, especially those that are domestically produced and offer a wide variety of benefits to the residents of the Commonwealth. Please join me in this effort by sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1690