The federal law authorizing the National Oilheat Research Alliance program expired on Feb. 6, 2010. Since then, oil-heat industry advocates and a bipartisan group of supporters in Congress have been working hard to renew or “reauthorize” NORA. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced new legislation (S.913) May 9 that would renew NORA through 2019 and allow the industry to resume collection of the two-tenths of a cent ($.002) per gallon check-off which funds the program.
It was referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
The bill also requires NORA to increase investments into research and development (especially into renewable fuels) and sets aside 15% of funds to directly assist consumers in upgrading to more efficient heating systems or improving the efficiency and safety of existing systems. The bill also provides funds for oil heat consumer education and employee training.