November 8, 2017

Dear Home Heating Oil Customer,

You may have received a letter from the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) encouraging you to “ditch dirty oil.” The OSE’s campaign is not rooted in facts. We want to set the record straight—and give you the information you need to make the choice that is right for you and your family.

Here are the facts:

  • Fact: Today’s oil heat burns 95% cleaner than in 1970 and meets the air pollution standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Genesee Energy uses only Ultra-low sulfur products which reduce oil heat’s already near-zero emissions even further.
  • Fact: Many of our heating oil customers in Seattle have already converted to Bioheat® which blends standard heating oil with renewable biodiesel made from recycled vegetable grease collected from local sources. The result is an exceptionally safe, renewable, clean and environmentally friendly fuel that promotes better air quality, reduces carbon emissions and uses otherwise wasted grease that would end up in landfills.
  • Fact: If the City of Seattle wants to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, targeting home heating oil will have almost zero impact as the number of single family homes using heating oil is extremely small in comparison to the number of homes using natural gas, which is and will always be a significant carbon contributor.
  • Fact: The campaign leads homeowners to believe that switching to an electric heat pump may reduce their overall carbon footprint, but neglects to address the fact that increased Air Condition usage in the summer may offset, or even increase, carbon emissions.
  • Fact: The OSE fails to address the fact that homeowners may be liable for any cleanup costs associated with the decommissioning of their heating oil systems.

Our position on reducing carbon emissions:

We fully support a reduction in our city’s carbon footprint. In fact, Genesee Energy has been a leading force in pioneering the use of Bioheat, biodiesel for home heating.  However, we are disheartened by the OSE’s campaign of misinformation and its direct and aggressive attack on small businesses like ours that have been integral to the economic fabric of the city for nearly a century.  Because Genesee Energy supports and drives innovations like Bioheat®, we are part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

To voice your concerns with the OSE’s campaign and to advocate for your right to make informed, fact-based choices, call the OSE at (206) 615-0817 or email its director, Jessica Finn Coven, at You can also reach the OSE through Twitter (@SeattleOSE) or via Facebook (search for “Seattle office of sustainability & environment”).


Steven T Clark, President