Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Energy & Science

Soaring Biofuel Costs Are Latest Sign of Americans Driving Again

  • Oil refiners are facing priciest ethanol credits since 2016
  • Biden’s sweeping climate policy goals boost biofuel outlook
Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
Updated on

Here’s the latest sign of America’s recovery from the pandemic: the market for obscure biofuel credits known as Renewable Identification Numbers is taking off.

Oil refiners that make gasoline are required by law to blend biofuels with it, but if they don’t, they can meet their federal quota by buying so-called RINs. Soon, as pandemic-weary Americans hit the road and plan summer vacations, there may not be enough RINs to go around. That’s causing the price of such credits to surge.