This week, UA General President McManus wrote a letter to the EPA expressing his concerns with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which is stewarded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The RFS mandates blending of ethanol and other biofuels into gasoline and distillates. The RFS also identifies refiners and importers as obligated parties and requires them to meet specific annual blending quotas, Renewable Fuel Obligations (RVOs).
The EPA has put merchant refiners in jeopardy because most have little or no blending capability; therefore they are unable to influence the amount of biofuel blended; in other words, they are unable to meet their obligation, so they are required to purchase RINs in an unregulated, non-transparent, and illiquid market that has been subject to volatility and fraud. They often buy RINs from competitors and non-obligated parties, which is a form of economic double jeopardy. McManus indicates support for moving the point of obligation to the "rack seller" because the program would then work efficiently and American jobs will be saved.
The letter requests the EPA to look closely at the issue and move the point of obligation to the "rack seller," a change that would help balance program objectives while protecting the viability of merchant refiners.