Trump Said to Mull Ways to Boost Biofuel Market Transparency
Mario Parker and Jennifer A. Dlouhy (Bloomberg) The Environmental Protection Agency plans to ask for advice on whether — and how — to boost the transparency of an opaque $9 billion market in biofuel compliance credits amid allegations of manipulation, said two people familiar with the move.
The EPA will seek public comment on the issue as part of a proposed slate of 2019 biofuel quotas now being reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the people, who asked for anonymity because the request is not yet public. That proposal is expected to be formally issued later this spring.
The move could be the first step toward imposing new limits on who can trade renewable identification numbers, or RINs, the credits refiners use to prove they have satisfied the U.S. biofuel mandate.
RINs are thinly traded, driving concerns they’re susceptible to manipulation. Although the EPA enlisted the help of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to police the biofuel credit market in 2016, a former EPA official has warned that scammers can still exploit the program. Senators have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate manipulation in the RINs market. And EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has floated the idea of limiting participants who can buy and sell RINs to curb speculation. READ MORE
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Excerpts from DTN The Progressive Farmer: EPA will ask for public comment on whether and how to boost the transparency of RINs. However, indications are it will not be seeking public comment on the potential changes to the program that the administration is reportedly pursuing on exported ethanol or year-round sales of E15.
The request on RIN transparency will be part of a proposed slate of 2019 biofuel requirements (2020 for biodiesel) now being reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
The proposal is expected to be formally issued in June or early July. READ MORE