Lawmakers seek probe of RIN market that governs renewable fuel standards

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A bipartisan, group of lawmakers highlighted concerns regarding possible market manipulation in the compliance system used for the Environmental Protection Agency’s RIN program.

The Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market is used as a way to comply with the addition of ethanol to gasoline. Corn state lawmakers have pressed for the continued use of ethanol.

Delaware’s congressional delegation joined colleagues in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and end any possible RIN market manipulation.

Delaware is the home of the PBF Delaware City Refinery. PBF has long complained about the RIN market and its effect on profit margin.

The lawmakers wrote,“Over the past four years, RIN prices have fluctuated wildly. Since earlier this year alone, they have spiked over 200 percent. This price volatility creates great uncertainty for obligated parties, especially for merchant refineries like the ones along the East Coast that have limited capability to blend biofuels into their products and need RINS to comply with the RFS program’s requirements.East Coast refineries already face slim profit margins, in part, due to their dependence on international markets for crude feedstocks, high gasoline inventories and the competition they face from global refiners.Volatility in the RIN market only adds to the East Coast refineries economic concerns.

They continued,“RIN market manipulation hurts all parties and directly harms our constituents. That is why we urgently request that the Federal Trade Commission use its authority to address RIN market manipulation.”

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