Energy Communications Council

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For more information contact:
Kevin Rooney
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ABC Responds to Heating Oil Industry’s Concerns About TV Show

Washington, D.C., January 11, 2010 Representatives for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” ABC’s reality-based primetime show, have acknowledged mischaracterizing today’s oilheat and agreed to edit out inaccurate heating oil statements made by show host Ty Pennington prior to syndicating the episode that aired Sept. 27, 2009, the heating oil industry’s Energy Communications Council (ECC) announced today.

Among a number of irresponsible statements, Pennington referred to an oilheat tank in the basement of a home as a “bomb waiting to go off.” The fact is oilheat is used safely today by 23 million Americans throughout the United States.

In a Jan. 7, 2010 letter to ECC and other heating oil industry groups, an attorney for ABC discussed its changes to the episode and also pledged to look for an opportunity to feature a state-of-the-art oilheat system in an upcoming show.

The letter resulted from a diligent 90-day ECC effort on behalf of NORA and the entire oilheat industry to seek out and work with the show’s producers and attorneys to resolve the matter.

“We are pleased that as an industry we were able to apply enough continuous pressure to get these changes, which occurred in large part due to the tenacious and exhaustive efforts of
Strategic Communications, LLC,” said ECC Mgmt. Cmte. Chair Kevin Rooney. “I am pleased with the outcome, which shows that we can negotiate in good faith with a much larger organization and get a positive result,” Rooney added.

For a copy of the ABC letter, please contact Rooney.

The ECC is comprised of the New England Fuel Institute, the Delaware Valley Fuel Dealers’ Association, the Empire State Petroleum Association, the Maine Oil Dealers Association, the Massachusetts Oilheat Council, the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey, Oil Heat Comfort of Long Island, the New York Oil Heating Association, Inc., the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, and the Virginia Petroleum, Convenience, and Grocery Association, and is funded by NORA.

National Oilheat Research Alliance ECC is funded in part through the National Oilheat Research Alliance.