United Metro Energy Corp. President Speaks Before the New York City Council Environmental Protection Committee
Testimony of Daniel M. Gianfalla, President and Chief Operating Officer of United Metro Energy Corporation Before the New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection January 13, 2015
Good afternoon Chairman Richards and members of the Environmental Protection Committee. I’m Daniel M. Gianfalla, President and Chief Operating Officer of United Metro Energy Corporation (UMEC). UMEC supplies and delivers gasoline, ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, biodiesel, bioheat, heating oil, and natural gas throughout the New York Metropolitan Area from terminals in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; Riverhead, Long Island; and Calverton, Long Island. UMEC was acquired by entrepreneur John Catstimatidis in 2012 who also owns United Refining, a major oil refinery in Pennsylvania that contributes to energy independence through domestic oil production.
Over the past decade, UMEC is proud to have partnered with the New York City Council and the Mayor’s Office on such critical goals as PlaNYC and recent legislation requiring an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. Today, we enthusiastically support Intro 54 which sets a B5 (5% biodiesel) minimum fuel standard in City owned and operated ferries, most notably the Staten Island Ferry. We also enthusiastically support Intro 451 which requires B5 in marine craft used by the DEP.
UMEC is already among the region’s largest marketers of biodiesel and we will soon open one of the largest state-of-the-art biodiesel production facilities in North America – right across the river in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A one-of-a-kind facility in New York City, the facility will make cleaner, greener biodiesel more readily and locally available for businesses, building owners, truck fleets and the City of New York itself to achieve the laudable and uniquely ambitious environmental goals that this City has set for all of us.
Particularly relevant to today’s hearing is one of UMEC’s proudest recent achievements– the opening of the City’s very first public biodiesel marine fueling facility. The new dock is adjacent to our Greenpoint facility and provides custom blended biodiesel and ultralow sulfur diesel to commercial marine vessels that will include the New York Water Taxi. We believe that this facility can play a vital role in helping to provide cleaner air to our city, reduce greenhouse gases and create greater energy independence.
With Intro 54, requiring the Staten Island Ferry to use clean, sustainable B5 – or 5% biodiesel at a minimum, the City will set the tone for sustainable marine fueling and hopefully result in even more City owned and private fleets going to biodiesel. The City of New York owns more than two dozen marine vessels including those operated by the NYPD, FDNY and others. Expanding the minimum fuel standards proposed in these two bills to include these other City-owned marine crafts would go a long way toward ensuring that our waterways become even cleaner and greener.
The City of New York has already paved a path toward greater biodiesel use in the heating oil sector and in the transportation sector. We are now in our second heating season where the citywide bioheat fuel standard has been in effect, displacing 30 million gallons of petroleum and counting. And forward thinking agencies like the Parks Department and the Sanitation Department have been using B20 blends or more in their truck fleets for a number of years.
We applaud Council Member Constantinides and Chairman Donovan Richards for these major steps forward and request that you consider expanding this biodiesel marine fuel standard to more city-owned vessels and encourage private ferry fleets and other private vessels to use more biodiesel.