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Change in heating oil will protect health

June 29, 2010 It is not often that you see industry and public health groups working together to pass laws, but in the case of legislation requiring the use of ultra low-sulfur heating oil, both groups stood firmly in support of the measure. ("Senator targeted over oil measure," June 23). This bill is a win-win for all New Yorkers.

Despite arguments to the contrary, this bill will protect public health and shield consumers from higher home heating bills. Sen. Darrel Aubertine deserves praise for protecting the health and wealth of his north country constituents.

Sulfur, or soot, is a major contributor to air pollution and can trigger asthma attacks and cause other illnesses. This should concern every family in New York state. Ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) is a product that is widely available and is federally required for transportation use on a federal level; in fact, in 2009, the United States exported 3.1 million gallons of ULSD.

The use of ultra low-sulfur heating oil the same refined product as ULSD actually requires less heating oil be used during the winter and makes boilers work more efficiently, resulting in savings on maintenance costs for owners. It should also be noted that the bill passed by the Legislature will not go into effect until 2012, giving the refining industry ample time to adjust production.

John Manisacalco, president of the New York Oil Heat Association, and myself stand with Sen. Aubertine for passing this forward-thinking bill that will protect both the pockets and lungs of his constituents and all New Yorkers.

Scott Santarella

The writer is president and CEO of the American Lung Association in New York.

Click here for the full letter from Watertown Daily Times

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