We started blending biodiesel into our own home heating oil in 2006.
Jamie Lohr, a co-owner of Guardian Fuel in Westerly, was recently named 2012 marketer of the year by the Independent Connecticut Petroleum Association. The award recognizes her involvement with industry-related issues and her ability to serve as an active and articulate marketer, unafraid to address legislators. Lohr is a resident of Stonington, Conn., a lifelong environmentalist and an advocate for the use of biofuels.
PBN: You were described as having been instrumental in fostering inter-association cooperation between the Independent Connecticut Petroleum Association and the Oil Heat Institute of Rhode Island. How did you do it?
LOHR: Guardian Fuel has been a member of [both organizations for] several years. These organizations provide educational opportunities for our employees, keep us informed about regulations, fuel-efficiency innovations, safety, legislation and taxes. The executive director of the ICPA asked me if I thought that by coming together for our annual meeting with the members of OHIRI, we might begin to support one another in some of these areas. As a larger body, we can attract the industry’s top thinkers and speakers, share ideas with our neighbors and work together to have a greater impact on industry trends.
PBN: Why do you feel it’s important to advocate for issues such as low sulfur standards for heating oil and a biofuels mandate?
LOHR: The federal government several years ago mandated a reduction in sulfur, the primary pollutant in (road) diesel fuel, to 15 parts per million. Independent oil dealers want the same standard for heating oil, which has 100 times the sulfur level. Refiners have no incentive to change to suit independent oil dealers or consumers, so we must ask our legislators to mandate cleaner fuel in the interest of public health. Our neighboring states of Connecticut and Massachusetts have adopted such legislation, but are not in a position to enforce ultra-low-sulfur heating oil (ULSHO), isolating Rhode Island.
PBN: Tell us a little bit about your company’s efforts to increase the use of biodiesel?
LOHR: We’ve been educating consumers about the benefits of biodiesel for years. We started blending biodiesel into our own home heating oil in 2006, and made it available to customers. We also tested blending biodiesel into our road fuel, to operate our own delivery trucks. •