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Even Without Trump-Brokered Deal, Refiners Get Biofuel Relief

  • Prices for biofuel credit have fallen in recent months
  • Still, modifications to U.S mandate are far from certain
Mid-Missouri Energy Ethanol Plant And Corn Harvesting

Photographer: Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg

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Despite a series of White House meetings in recent months, U.S. oil refiners haven’t seen any change in the federal mandate requiring them to blend biofuels. Yet the market in biofuel credits shows they’re getting some of what they want anyway.

The complaint among some refiners is that the cost of complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard is too high. Refiners without the capability to blend ethanol or biodiesel have to buy the credits, so-called Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs. Prices for RINs have slumped amid the Trump administration meetings, indicating that refiners are increasingly confident they’ll get some kind of relief.