NYOHA Response to NYT Editorial:
Every industry has its bad apples and the heating oil industry is no different. Fraudulent activity impedes the ability of honest companies to compete for business and gives a black eye to a responsible and integral part of New York's energy infrastructure.
Over the last decade, we have strongly supported numerous environmentally-forward bills and initiatives in the City Council, in Albany and at the city's various regulatory agencies that have resulted in making New York City's heating oil the cleanest and most renewable in the country. However, we cannot support a City Council bill whose only function is to empower the Business Integrity Commission to be the fourteenth - yes fourteenth - regulator of the heating oil industry. It will bury honest companies in red tape and fees that will be passed along to customers.
Rather than give unchecked power to yet another regulatory agency, the City Council should pass meaningful anti-fraud measures that were proposed more than two years ago, including reinstating spot checks from the Department of Consumer Affairs, a practice that was once a major deterrent but was inexplicably abandoned years ago. This and other measures like requiring anti-fraud technology and codifying best practices will go a long way to end fraud without putting your trusted heating oil company out of business or socking consumers with higher heating oil prices.
Rocco J. Lacertosa, CEO
New York Oil Heating Association
Click here for the New York Times editorial.