It is hard to understand why the Biden Administration does not take more decisive action in dealing with the RIN mess.
After the surge in gasoline prices continued into the fall, the administration now appears to be studying ways to deal with the Renewable Identification Number system (RIN).
The cost of complying with the system, which monitors the blend of ethanol in gasoline, could put independent refiners like Delaware City’s PBF site into bankruptcy court.
RIN prices paid by refiners have decreased somewhat, but the cost of compliance remains high.
The broken system is clearly responsible for at least some of the recent spike in gasoline prices.
Moreover, the cost of transporting ethanol and the effects on the food supply of using corn kernels to produce ethanol come with environmental impacts that blunt many of the benefits of using a cleaner fuel blend.
Alternatives, such as corn stover (leaves, stalks), have not yet worked out. DuPont unloaded a $400 million plant in Iowa, with the German buyer converting the site to make the stover into natural gas.
The pro-ethanol lobby and progressives in the Democratic party have plenty of sway on the Beltway, leading to the cautious stance at the White House.
Fueling Jobs a labor and business coalition has picked up support for efforts to reform the RIN system and tweak the Renewable Fuel Standard in a way that does not punish motorists and continues progress in reducing greenhouse gases.
Delaware government leaders have been more cautious than their counterparts in neighboring states in endorsing changes in the RIN system.
A more full-throated response from Coons, Carper, Carney, and company would be welcome. Businesses can help by writing and calling their representatives. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.