As the summer driving season shifts into high gear, consumers are well aware of gasoline prices and the impact the price will have on their summer travels. Although gasoline makes up 90% of the gallons we purchase for our vehicles, the product that makes up the additional 10% (Ethanol) can have a big impact on the price we pay.
Ding, Ding, Ding! Let’s get ready to rumble! Currently in the United States there is an ongoing battle involving some of our biggest industries in this country, oil and corn. The battle between refiners and corn growers stems from the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) which is a law enacted by President George W. Bush to help farmers boost the demand for corn and to reduce fossil fuel imports or energy independence. The Renewable Fuel Standard is a federal program that requires transportation fuel sold in the United States to have a minimum amount of renewable biofuels in it. In this case were speaking of ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol is an alcohol based fuel that is distilled from plant materials such as sugar, corn, and biodiesel from feed-stocks such as soy, corn or animal renderings. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates the RFS program and establishes the requirements for volumes annually and is assessed as a percentage against obligated parties. Obligated parties are refiners, importers and blenders of on-road fuel. The EPA tracks compliance of renewable fuels by renewable identification number credits or RINs which assigns a RIN to each gallon of renewable fuel.