Exclusive: EPA aims to curb biofuel credit market speculation via five-pillared draft rule

Source: By Humeyra Pamuk, Reuters • Posted: Friday, March 8, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to curb speculation in the biofuel credit market will include five measures aimed at preventing hoarding of the credits and improving monitoring to identify potential market manipulation, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The proposed measures, sent to the White House for review on Monday, include requiring quarterly, instead of annual, retirement or sales of the credits – called Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs – and blocking certain non-obligated parties from purchasing RINs.

Other measures call for RIN buyers to disclose their holdings to EPA if they acquire large volumes of RINs in excess of a certain threshold – likely 120 percent of their obligation – and improved deal reporting to the agency so it can identify and prevent efforts at market manipulation, the source said.

Along with the RIN market reform proposals, the EPA on Monday sent a draft of its proposed rule allowing year-round sales of higher ethanol blends of gasoline, also known as E15.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk in Washington; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis