RFA Chief Says He’s Still Concerned RINs Market Is Being Manipulated
by Jeff Barber (Oil Price Information Service) The head of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) says the ethanol industry group remains concerned that “market manipulation” is a “significant factor” driving the price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) and cited an unlikely ally in support of his argument — merchant refiner CVR Refining, a longtime critic of the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Testifying at a public hearing Tuesday in Washington on EPA’s proposed 2018 Renewable Volume Obligations, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen said his organization continues to be concerned that “market manipulation, not market forces, is a significant factor driving RIN prices today.
“We agree with one independent refiner, who just last week said ‘the continued volatility and extraordinarily high prices of RINs further proves that we are dealing with a manipulated and contrived market.’ ”
In a July 27 conference call to discuss the company’s second-quarter earnings, CVR CEO Jack Lipinski ripped RINs trading, saying that prices for the credits “continue to be an egregious tax on independent merchant refiners and small fuel retailers.” He also reiterated earlier claims that the RINs market is “manipulated.”
The CFTC in June told a group of U.S. Democrats that it would not investigate billionaire Carl Icahn’s trades in RINs because a futures market in the credits does not exist. Icahn is the majority owner of CVR Refining, and the senators had expressed concerned that Icahn had used his position as regulatory adviser to President Donald Trump to drive down RIN prices.
CFTC added that it signed a memorandum of understanding with EPA in 2016 under which it would advise EPA on techniques the agency could use to minimize fraud and market abuses in the RINs market. READ MORE
Who, What, When, Where and How? US Biofuels Industry Grapples with RINs after Waiver Decision (Platts; includes AUDIO)