Following the recent rise in the cost of RINs (Renewable Identification Numbers), which are essentially credits for renewable fuel, Tom Buis CEO of Growth Energy refuted charges that ethanol is driving up the cost of gasoline:“RIN prices are not the cause of high gasoline prices. What’s driving the recent record highs are the record profit margins the oil industry is profiting off of, currently at more than $1 per gallon. This is because the oil companies have a near monopoly on the marketplace. They are preventing any alternatives from entering the marketplace. To blame ethanol for higher gasoline prices being too high is blatantly false.“A great deal has been made over the price of the RINS in the past several days as it relates to gasoline price. There is not a shortage of RINS for 2013. There is a perceived shortage of RINS for 2014, but interestingly, no focus is being placed on solving that shortage. The solution is to adopt the higher level ethanol blends such as EPA’s approved E15 for vehicles that are 2001 and newer – comprising approximately 80% of the US vehicle fleet. As soon as the oil companies adopt the higher blends, plenty of RINS will become readily available.
“Studies show that ethanol blended into fuel saves domestic consumers about $8 billion per year. Ethanol is not to blame, it is the solution. None of the recent press, or inflammatory statements from the oil companies mention the price savings that ethanol has generated in savings to the US motorist by ethanol trading at substantial discounts to gasoline.
“In fact the reason we’re even having this discussion on rising RIN prices is because the oil companies are flat-out unwilling to blend ethanol and instead are willing to pay a premium specifically not to do their job under the law: blend renewable fuels.
“They are fighting to maintain the blend wall and are willing to let RIN prices increase as they continue to erect every hurdle possible to maintain the blend wall and their monopoly in the liquid fuels market.
“The bottom line is that oil companies are wrong in blaming ethanol for higher gasoline prices when in reality they should be looking in the mirror. Just a few months ago RINS were trading at only a few cents per gallon and we still had record gasoline prices, who was to blame then?”