On Thursday, the state Senate will consider a bill to force all heating oil in New York to contain at least 2 percent biodiesel. It’s a feel-good, do-harm idea — not least because the law would harm everything it’s supposed to help.

The Senate wouldn’t be the first to fall for this idiocy. The city already has such a mandate — and pols here are thinking of bumping it up from 2 percent to 20 percent.

Biodiesel is derived from certain organic material, like soybeans. Laws that require its use make misguided enviro-nuts feel good — and help lawmakers win donations from soybean sellers.

But the mandate actually achieves the exact reverse of what its backers promise.

Take the claim that biodiesel is “more efficient.” That’s 100 percent true — in Opposite Land. As a new Empire Center-Manhattan Institute report shows, such fuel is actually less efficient: You need to burn more of it to get the same amount of heat.

The promise that biodiesel will “result in less air pollution” and cut down on climate-change gases?


Biofuels generate “significantly higher emissions of nitrous oxide, a particularly potent greenhouse gas,” the report notes. If you want to fight climate change, you should pass a law to limit the use of this fuel, or ban it altogether.

Forcing New Yorkers to use biodiesel might be seen as just another case of mindless overreach by control-freak lawmakers. (Hey, maybe they can sell “exemptions.”)

But the environmental problems aren’t the only cost such laws impose. Not only are biofuels more expensive, using soybeans for heating fuel (or corn for ethanol) drives up the price of food.

UN officials have even called for a halt in the use of ethanol to avert a global food shortage.

The good news? There is an energy source that’s cleaner than oil: natural gas. And New York’s got plenty in the Marcellus and Utica shale, ready to be harvested via fracking.

Oops: Gov. Cuomo banned that.

© 2015 New York Post


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