A proposal to mandate the use of biodiesel in home heating oil in New York would raise consumer costs while reducing overall energy efficiency, according to a report jointly released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy and the Manhattan Institute.

Biodiesel is a form of renewable biofuel produced from plants and plant byproducts, including soybeans and spent cooking oils.

Bills now pending in the state Legislature (A6070 and S2744) would require that heating fuel sold in New York include a 2 percent biodiesel mix, also known as B2. A similar B2 mandate has been in effect in New York City since 2012.

Proponents of the measure say, in their sponsors’ memos, that biodiesel is a “more efficient fuel” and mandating its use “will result in less air pollution.”

However, today’s Empire Center-Manhattan Institute report, written by energy consultant Jude Clemente, includes these findings:

  • Biofuels are less efficient, requiring more fuel be burned to produce the same energy output.
  • Biofuels produce significantly higher emissions of nitrous oxide, a particularly potent greenhouse gas.
  • Biofuels drive up the costs of heating and food.

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank based in Albany. The Manhattan Institute is a New York City-based think tank whose mission is to develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.


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