Industry Seeks Extension of NORA Authorization
National, state and regional liquid fuels associations have submitted a request to the Senate Agriculture Committee leaders asking for their support for a five-year extension of the authorization for the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) through October 1, 2033.
The letter to Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member John Boozman outlined NORA’s initial authorization in 2000, via title VII of the Energy Act of 2000 and subsequent reauthorizations, to provide funding to allow the liquid heating industry to provide more efficient and reliable heat and hot water to the American consumer. The letter further details NORA’s Research & Development emphasis on carbon reduction; initiatives that have helped reduce heating fuel consumption by 30 percent of the last decade, amounting to nearly $600 in annual savings per customer; and technical education programs which have trained more than 32,000 technicians, including 1,200 entry-level apprenticeship technicians.
As a government sanctioned “check-off” program, NORA is 100 percent funded by the industry, receiving $0.002 on every gallon of liquid heating fuel sold at the wholesale level.
Text of the NORA letter to the leaders of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry.
March 31, 2023
Dear Chair Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman:
We, the undersigned, write in support for a five-year extension of the National Oilheat Research Alliance (“NORA”) through October 1, 2033. NORA was first authorized in 2000, via title VII of the Energy Act of 2000, to provide funding that would allow the liquid heating industry to provide more efficient and reliable heat and hot water to the American consumer.
In the ensuing years, NORA’s scope expanded to reducing carbon emissions from home heating. Its Research & Development emphasis on carbon reduction resulted in the opening of the country’s first liquid heating fuels research laboratory in 2016. Fuels, heating systems and logistics are evaluated and advanced with the goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and are among NORA’s highest priorities.
Because of the liquid heating fuels industry’s goals to decarbonize through the increased use of biodiesel blending, NORA was reauthorized in the 2018 FARM bill. NORA reauthorization is needed to continue providing the American consumer with this important and cleaner energy source.
As a government sanctioned “check-off” program, NORA receives $0.002 at the wholesale level on every gallon of liquid heating fuel sold. NORA is 100 percent funded by the industry, requiring no federal funds, providing critical training and career opportunities through our certification programs, while also advancing the necessary research and development for the decarbonization of the liquid heating industry.
NORA’s initiatives have helped to reduce heating fuel consumption by 30 percent over the last decade, which amounts to nearly $600 in annual savings per customer. Liquid heating fuels are used in over six million homes, serving more than 16 million Americans across the country. NORA’s technical education programs have trained more than 32,000 technicians, including almost 12,000 entry-level apprenticeship technicians.
Without Congressional authorization, the liquid heating industry will lose this crucial program and its ability to work cooperatively and efficiently to provide the consumer benefits and efficient technologies to stay competitive in the marketplace.
We ask for your help in reauthorizing this important program. Specifically, we ask Congress to provide a five-year extension of NORA by amending section 713 of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106–469) to strike “28 years” and insert “33 years.”
We appreciate Congress’s longstanding, bipartisan support of NORA. We thank you for considering this request and urge NORA reauthorization to ensure Americans have safe and reliable heating fuel for years to come.
The letter was co-signed by: Energy Marketers of America, Clean Fuels Alliance America, National Energy & Fuels Institute, Energy Marketers Association of New Hampshire, Energy Marketers Association of Rhode Island, Empire State Energy Association, Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey, Indiana Food & Fuel Association, Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association, Maine Energy Marketers Association, Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association, Michigan Petroleum Association, Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Distributors Association, Nevada Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, New York State Energy Coalition, North Carolina Petroleum & Convenience Marketers, Ohio Energy & Convenience Association, Pennsylvania Petroleum Association, South Carolina Convenience & Petroleum Marketers Association, Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, Virginia Petroleum & Convenience Marketers Association, Washington Independent Energy Distributors, and Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association.