Prices for conventional renewable fuel RINs (Renewable Identification Number) have increased significantly in recent weeks. Oil companies and various media outlets have suggested the increase in RIN prices is due to the arrival of the E10 “Blend Wall” and the supposed inability of obligated parties to meet Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) obligations with physical volumes of renewable fuels. Some representatives of the oil industry have even gone as far as to suggest higher RIN prices will lead to higher gasoline prices at the pump—despite the fact that ethanol remains at a considerable discount to gasoline. The truth is, the E10 “Blend Wall” was erected by the oil companies themselves, and it is little more than a convenient excuse for their refusal to move to higher-level ethanol blends.
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