The New York Times reports:
Margo T. Oge, who oversaw the creation of the ethanol credit program at the E.P.A., says that the rising price of RINs — no matter the cause — is good news and an indication that the program’s goals are being met.
As the credits get more expensive, she says, oil and gas companies have a financial incentive to add more ethanol to fuel rather than buy credits. That, in turn, reduces oil imports and emissions — which was the point of creating the system in the first place.
Ms. Oge, who retired from the E.P.A. last year and is now a visiting scholar at the International Council on Clean Transportation, a research group in Washington, said RINs were never supposed to affect the price of gasoline at the pump. If that is the result of the price run-up this year, as many energy analysts predict, it would be an unwelcome outcome, she said.
“The last thing we wanted in implementing this program is to get price increases for the consumer,” she said.
Even beyond the likely rise in gasoline prices, critics of the RINs market say it is deeply flawed, and they do not share Ms. Oge’s optimistic takeaway of this year’s market frenzy.