United Metro Energy Corp. President Speaks Before the New York City Council Environmental Protection Committee
Testimony of Daniel Gianfalla, President and Chief Operating Officer of United Metro Energy Corporation (UMEC) Before the New York City Council Environmental Protection Committee October 23, 2014
Good morning Chairman Richards and members of the Environmental Protection Committee. I’m Daniel Gianfalla, President and Chief Operating Officer of United Metro Energy Corporation (UMEC). UMEC, owned by John Catsimatidis, supplies and delivers gasoline, ultralow 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.
Since acquiring Brooklyn’s Metro Terminals in 2013, UMEC is proud to have built upon build the pioneering role that Metro has played in the advancement of biofuels in New York City over the last decade.
UMEC supports the goals of Intro-378 to reduce greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050 as well as the vision laid out in Mayor De Blasio’s transformative plan “One City Built to Last.”
The goal of 80 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2050 cannot be realistically accomplished in New York City without the increased use of bioheat, a blend of biodiesel and heating oil. And UMEC hopes to play a major role in further applying the clean air and environmental benefits of bioheat in New York City.
Biodiesel is a biodegradable, virtually zero-sulfur, and totally renewable energy source that is made from plant, vegetable or animal fat-based oils and is then blended with diesel for use in transportation fleets and with heating oil for use in buildings - also known as bioheat. Biodiesel reduces:
- particulate matter that causes asthma;
- carbon emissions that contribute to global warming;
- and they lower our country’s dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels.
According to the American Energy Coalition, B12 bioheat burns cleaner than natural gas. Let me emphasize this point – at B12 blends – which means 12% biodiesel and 88% traditional heating oil – bioheat fuel can produce lower lifetime emissions than natural gas.
Last year, UMEC blended 4 million gallons of biodiesel into our heating oil and diesel products, eliminating 58 million pounds of carbon and substantially reducing pollutants in the City of New York. This carbon reduction is the equivalent of removing more than 7,000 cars from the road annually.
UMEC walks the walk. Our truck fleet of 55 vehicles uses B20 for eight months and B5 for four months in the winter. By solely using these two grades of biodiesel, United Metro is able to reduce its carbon output by 750,000 pounds annually.
UMEC has been a vocal advocate for bioheat requirements and actively supported legislation to phase-out Numbers 4 and 6 heating oil.
Only three years ago, nearly 10,000 buildings in New York City burned Nos. 4 and 6 heating oil. Through the efforts of the NYC Clean Heat Program and companies like UMEC, several thousand buildings have converted to cleaner fuels in recent years and many more are actively pursuing conversions. UMEC has offered incentives to building owners helping to accelerate conversions to the cleanest heating fuels, as well as educating building owners, real estate managers and tenants on the benefits of bioheat.
UMEC is in a period of substantial growth, positioning the company to help the City meet its energy efficiency goals. Earlier this year, UMEC acquired the expansive heating oil portfolio of Hess. This acquisition makes us the largest heating oil and biofuels provider in the New York Metropolitan Area.
In 2015, United Biofuels, Inc., an affiliate of UMEC, will open one of the largest state-of-the-art advanced biodiesel production facilities in North America, to be based in Brooklyn and designed to produce 50 million gallons per year of biodiesel fuel. The facility, which would be the only one of its kind in New York City, will be capable of accepting multiple feedstocks including recycled restaurant grease and soy, processing it into biodiesel for distribution in the New York City region. At maximum output, our processing facility will allow for the offset of 365,000 tons of carbon, or 730 million pounds, annually.
UMEC recently opened the City's first public biodiesel marine fueling facility for waterborne vessels. The new dock is adjacent to our Greenpoint facility and will provide custom blended biodiesel and ultra-low sulfur diesel to commercial marine vessels.
UMEC is supportive of the goals outlined in Intro 378 and in the Mayor’s plan to transform buildings for a low carbon future. We feel strongly that bioheat has an important role to play in the City’s energy portfolio. And we are prepared to meet the biodiesel and bioheat demands of the New York Metropolitan Area.