New bipartisan legislation to renew and strengthen the National Oilheat Research Alliance has been introduced in the United States Congress. Home heating oil associations around the country are praising the development, calling it "an expression of the oil heat industry's commitment to bring to consumers the most environmentally responsible, efficient and domestically-produced home heating fuel possible."
Since the federal law authorizing the NORA program expired on February 6, 2010, the industry has been working tirelessly to introduce legislation to renew it. The new legislation enjoys broad support from the industry and lawmakers from the region, as well as several prominent environmental advocacy groups such as Environment Northeast (ENE).
The bipartisan legislation was introduced as H.R.1756 in the House of Representatives by Representatives Charlie Bass (R-NH), Peter Welch (D-VT), Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ). It was introduced in the United States Senate as S.949 by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Richard Burr (R-NC).
If passed, this legislation will:
- Renew funding for programs to educate consumers on: the benefits of oil heat, important service and safety practices, useful tips to increase energy efficiency and conserve fuel, the latest in oil heat technology and renewable alternatives, and countering common oil heat myths;
- Redirect more funds for research, development and deployment of new ultra-efficient oil heating technologies, such as ultra-efficient equipment, biofuel-blended product and the integration of solar equipment as a complement to existing heating equipment;
- Strengthen the national oil heat certification program for technicians and home energy conservation professionals; and
- Renew NORA through most of the decade.
To support these efforts, visit the SupportNora.Org website at: <i>www.supportnora.org/bill.php</i>