Recently, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) gave a one minute briefing on what, exactly, is a Renewable Identification Number (RIN). Shimkus explained:
“Mr. Speaker, there’s been a lot of media coverage on RINs.
A RIN is a Renewable Identification Number, which is given to refiners upon the purchase of renewable fuels. It is then used by refiners every February to establish that they have met their previous year’s obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
These recent stories raise a question as to why RINs are being blamed in the increase in gasoline prices. RINs are given away for free by ethanol and other renewable fuel producers to refiners and only have value in the submission of the report in February. We are currently in the month of March and soon to be in April.
There are questions that need to be asked on why such swift dramatic price shifts are being reported in the market. Are speculators at work? There is an excess of over two billion RINs. Why is that not proving and providing stability?
I encourage the media to ask these types of questions, but to simply jump on and blame the renewable fuels sector is incorrect.”