EPA watchdog starts audit of renewable fuel credits

Source: By Marc Heller, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2021

EPA’s investigative arm has begun auditing renewable fuel credits under the government’s biofuel-blending mandates, a system long criticized for fraud and abuse. In a memo last Friday to EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, the Office of Inspector General said it’s looking to verify that the agency can ensure that RINs — a form of currency that companies trade to demonstrate compliance with the renewable fuel standard — are valid. The audit, already highlighted in EPA’s fiscal 2021 oversight plan, isn’t a surprise to the agency, nor to industry groups that have long pressed for a more transparent system. But it could recharge a debate over one of the more complicated aspects of the RFS, enacted in the mid-2000s to reduce dependency on foreign oil and promote a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.