In D.C., Renewa…

In D.C., Renewables Fraud Greeted With More Money

Despite the recent hearing on massive fraud connected with the Renewables Fuel Standard, the Senate Finance committee has approved the friendly-sounding “Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012.” Among other provisions, the Act would extend the $1/gallon tax credit for biodiesel producers through 2013, a measure estimated to cost $2.1 billion (in forfeited tax receipts) over 10 years. Thus, the government continues to lavish massive support—both with tax credits and outright mandates for purchase—on a sector without addressing the obvious problems in implementation. Furthermore, even if the programs were administered flawlessly by angels, the government’s encouragement of renewables is an inefficient distortion of energy markets.
In his July 11 testimony to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President Charles Drevna explained the massive “RIN” fraud plaguing the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard. Here is a summary of the testimony:
[The] Renewable Fuels Stand (RFS) [requires] obligated parties to blend increasing volumes of biofuels into the transportation fuel supply. There are several nested mandates within the RFS, including a requirement for 1 billion gallons of biomass-based biodiesel. In order to demonstrate compliance with the RFS, obligated parties submit a requisite number of renewable identification numbers (RINs) to EPA by the end of February following the compliance year. RINs essentially act as credits that can be bought and sold among biofuel producers, brokers and obligated parties.

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