The House Energy and Commerce Committee is asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to detail steps it is taking to prevent fraudulent renewable fuel credits, or RINs, from entering the marketplace. The committee also wants to know whether fraudulent credits have contributed to a “dramatic decline” in RIN prices since July 2012. The committee asked EPA to respond by Feb. 22.
The committee said the problem with fraudulent RINs—the serial numbers attached to each batch of renewable fuels—may be greater than it originally estimated. “Since November 2011, the agency has identified no less than 140 million invalid or fraudulently created credits associated with biodiesel fuel,” lawmakers said.
RINs also can be severed from the fuel and sold as credits. In April 2012, EPA reached settlements with 30 refiners and other companies that were participating in the renewable fuel program. They agreed to pay $3.65 million in penalties after they purchased millions of fraudulent renewable fuel credits.
EPA has proposed a voluntary quality assurance program that would allow third parties to verify the validity of the RINs purchased by petroleum refiners to comply with the renewable fuel standard. The proposal is available for public comment, and EPA said it will consider feedback from a range of stakeholders before the proposal is finalized.
This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
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