The price spike in 2013 for Renewable Identification Numbers was not caused by the blend wall as has been touted by many, according to a white paper released by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).
Based on an analysis of Renewable Fuel Standard compliance data between 2010 and 2013, BIO said the data show the blend wall was not the culprit for the price increase. “The success of the Renewable Fuel Standard has become distorted by the myth that U.S. refiners have encountered an unbreakable blend wall,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “Oil refiners, their champions in Congress, and even EPA have proposed changes to the RFS program based on this myth. Yet these changes to the RFS are aimed at solving a problem that never existed.”
Obligated oil refiners and importers were “able to meet RFS requirements through 2013 — even building excess RINs — despite having reached the blend wall as early as 2010 and definitely surpassing it by 2012,” Erickson noted. Further, the delays by EPA in issuing 2014 and 2015 RFS rules “obscured” the data until now.
Those delays and proposed RFS changes from EPA “have undercut investment in advanced biofuels and harmed developers of new technology,” Erickson stated. “EPA should reconsider its proposed RFS rules for 2017 in light of the newly available data.”