Legislative Action & Government Affairs
MEMA represents the industry before Beacon Hill lawmakers and all state agencies and departments responsible for numerous laws, regulations, policies, and programs that have a direct impact on heating oil, renewable biofuels, diesel fuel, propane and heating and cooling equipment.
MEMA also assists in representing the industry in Washington, DC via the National Energy & Fuels Institute (NEFI) and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).
MEMA has partnered with Project Carbon Freedom to create the Action Center – an on-line portal that allows industry companies and employees to communicate directly with Massachusetts lawmakers and other government officials to advocate for-and-against proposed legislation and regulations impacting the home and commercial heating oil and biofuel industry. MEMA provides regular alerts to the industry as to when and how to use the Action Center.
Overview: Massachusetts – At the Forefront for Climate Change Activities
Massachusetts has one of the most aggressive laws in the country mandating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the home and commercial building sectors, and the transportation sector. The law, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, set benchmarks for GHG reductions. In March of 2021, more aggressive benchmarks were set with the passage of An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy.
To fully understand the evolution of climate change laws and related regulations and policies, read a summary prepared by MEMA: Climate Change Laws & Policies in Massachusetts (2007-Present).
Current Legislative & Government Affairs Activities
MEMA is currently actively engaged in lobbying efforts on the proposed legislation and programs listed below.
- House 1119: An Act Relative to the Cleanup of Accidental Home Heating Oil Spills
- House 3243: An Act Sparking the Modernization of State Heating Systems
- House 3292: An Act Achieving a Green Future with Infrastructure and Workforce Investments
- House 3287: An Act Requiring Disclosure to Consumers Regarding Home Heating Oil Insurance
- House 3298: An Act Relative to the Future of Heat in the Commonwealth
- Senate 676: An Act Relative to the Remediation of Home Heating Oil Releases
- Senate 2014: An Act Sparking the Modernization of State Heating Systems
- Senate 2132: An Act Instituting a Governance Structure for Mass Save
- Senate 2133: An Act to Expand Carbon Pricing in the Commonwealth
- Senate 2229: An Act Creating a 21st Century Clean Energy Economy
Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS Biofuel Program)
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) oversees the APS program that provides incentives to retail marketers who provide biofuel blends of B10 (10%) or higher to customers. In late summer 2021, DOER released a proposal to modify the regulation. MEMA and the National Biodiesel Board provided comments to DOER on the regulatory changes that will be implemented in 2023. The proposed changes include raising the minimum blend level to B20 and expanding the feedstocks eligible under the program.
Energy Efficiency Advisory Council & Mass Save Program
Since December of 2020, MEMA has participated in monthly meetings of the state’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Council EEAC) and is fighting to stop changes to the Mass Save program. By state law, the EEAC must develop energy efficiency plans for the state’s gas and electric utilities. Under the proposed 2022 three-year plan, Mass Save equipment rebates to heating oil customers for heating oil equipment upgrades will be eliminated as well as access to the no-interest Heat Loan. If the plan is approved this year, millions of Mass Save dollars will be redirected for expanded and higher incentives for electric heat pumps installations in heating oil & propane heated homes.
For recent media coverage on the cuts to Mass Save visit our Industry & Energy News page.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The 2021-2022 LIHEAP fuel assistance program begins on November 1. MEMA is working with state fuel assistance officials to raise the margin-over-rack payments to retailers who support the program. That increase could take place during the 2021-2022 program year. MEMA is also working with state officials to ensure prompt payments to retailers who deliver heating fuels to qualified LIHEAP customers statewide.