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Martin Murray

EPA Needs To Plug Loopholes

By December 24, 2012

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renewable identification numbers A number of companies have found that there is a major loophole in the EPA's renewable fuel standard. CBC reports that the Canadian rail company CN shipped the same load of biodiesel back and forth over the US-Canada border 12 times, at a cost of $2.6 million. The cargo was never unloaded despite moving back and forth across the border. Bioversal Trading of Toronto arranged the trip to rack up renewable identification numbers (RIN), which are credits set up by the EPA to encourage and track the production and importation of renewable fuels.

Once imported, Bioversal transferred the biodiesel RIN's to its US-based partner company Verdeo. Under the program, once biofuel is exported, an equivalent number of RIN's must be retired by the company. However, Bioversal says that Verdeo collected the imports as biodiesel RIN's and retired the corresponding number of far less valuable ethanol RIN's. Last year the EPA fined a number of companies, including Shell, Exxon and Morgan Stanley, in a $9 million scam involving fraudulent RIN's

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