Biofuel credit traders would be placed under a new set of limitations under a proposed rule released today by the Environmental Protection Agency that would also allow summer E15 sales.

The proposed rule, signed by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler today, would make regulatory changes to allow summer E15 sales and make structural changes to the trading market for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), the credits used to track compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Wheeler said EPA is working to be “consistent with President Trump’s direction” and have the rules finalized “by the summer driving season.”

Current restrictions prevent E15 from being sold between June 1 and Sept. 15 every year.

The RIN reforms will also be the subject of hearty debate among refining interests, many of which had accepted the current regime. In the announcement, EPA proposes reforms including:

  • Preventing certain parties from being able to purchase RINs;
  • Requiring public disclosure of RIN holdings above specific thresholds;
  • Limiting how long a non-obligated party can hold RINs;
  • Increasing disclosure requirements from annual to quarterly reporting.

It’s not clear at this point if EPA plans to pursue all or part of the proposed changes to the RINs market as part of a final package.

EPA plans to hold a public hearing on the proposal on March 29. A location for that hearing has not yet been announced.

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