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API: RFS problems abound, not least fraudulent RINs

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

On 27th September, API Downstream Group Director Bob Greco told reporters that the administration had not done enough to address the problems related to the Renewable Fuels Standard law, in particular the fraudulent RINs (Renewable Identification Number) issue. He said while EPA needed to address the RINs problem now, legislation would be required to fix various structural RFS programme issues:

"The oil and natural gas industry supports renewable fuels and is one of the largest investors in these alternative energy sources. And we support the provisions in the RFS programme that allow refiners to purchase RINs or Renewable Identification Numbers to demonstrate compliance. This credit-purchasing mechanism has the potential to make the RFS programme more efficient and keep costs down, which can benefit consumers. However, both the RFS and the RINs programme have significant problems, which remain unresolved despite months of work by EPA and the White House, and it appears increasingly unlikely that the administration will address the issue of fraudulent RINs in time for a solution to be in place before next year.

"Ultimately, the fraudulent RINs problem threatens the viability and acceptance of the entire RFS programme, but that isn’t the only problem with the programme. It has become increasingly unrealistic and unworkable in several ways. A serious blend wall problem exists. The programme’s volume requirements threaten to force concentrations of biofuels in gasoline above levels that are compatible with vehicles and fuel dispensing equipment. There is also an unworkable requirement to use cellulosic ethanol in gasoline even though none is commercially available. And the agency has upped the biodiesel volume requirements, above what the statute requires, which will hike refiner costs by hundreds of millions of dollars and could impact consumers."

Adapted from press release by Joe Hester

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