Congress OKs Extension Of NORA

Congress has approved and sent to the President a federal Farm Bill that includes a 10 year reauthorization of the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) in which 25 percent of the funding will be escrowed each year that can be accessed on year 11.

Passage of the bill is a huge victory for heating fuels dealers. We would like to thank PMAA and other state/regional associations that reached out to their lawmakers to get us to this point.

PMAA played a critical role in reauthorizing the NORA in 2014 and now again in 2018. After the U.S. House passed its version of a Farm Bill in June, without a NORA provision, the U.S. Senate passed its own version a week later which included an amendment that would permanently reauthorize NORA. A conference committee was formed to hash out the details of a final Farm Bill, yielding a 10 year reauthorization of NORA.

U.S. Senators who played a key role in the process included Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-NH), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI).

In the House, key lawmakers included: Paul Tonko (D-NY), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Peter Welch (D-VT), John Faso (R-NY), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and David Rouzer (R-NC).

NORA was first authorized in 2000 to provide funding that would allow the oilheat industry to provide more efficient and reliable heat and hot water to American consumers. As a “check-off” program, NORA receives $0.002 at the wholesale level on every gallon of heating oil sold.

NORA provides critical training opportunities and supports the necessary research and development for the industry. Oil heat is currently used in 6.3 million homes, serving more than 16 million Americans across the country. The current NORA program is authorized through February 2019.