Washington Examiner: EPA Punishes the Innocent for Green Fuels Fraud

June 7, 2012

Gas station signs announcing “Biodiesel” or “Contains ethanol” have become commonplace in America. We're vaguely aware that billions of gallons of such renewable fuel are now being blended into our finished gasoline and diesel fuels. This is the Renewable Fuel Standard at work, the EPA's byzantine invitation to fraud.

The RFS program is Environmental Protection Agency's system to assure that the amount of renewable fuel being used in motor fuel meets the requirements of the law. Believe it or not, the EPA monitors every gallon of renewable fuel in our motor fuel with a unique serial number called a Renewable Identification Number, or RIN. The EPA does not assign the RIN, nor does it maintain a registry for these numbers. And that's where the horror story begins.

Producers assign RINs — credits that can be bought and sold like shares of stock. What's more, the EPA puts the burden on refiners and importers to ensure the credits they purchase are valid.