The ongoing RIN scandal has dominated U.S. biodiesel news for the past several months. With such sensational developments and provocative stories involving investigations, deceit, lawsuits, raids, subpoenas, hardship and jury trials, it can be easy to overlook all of the positive news in the industry. One encouraging story has been in the making for six months, and it is a direct result of the abuse on the federal system established to track obligated parties’ compliance of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) by a few bad actors who most certainly do not represent the biodiesel industry, or its people. While it may be a reactionary tale, the National Biodiesel Board’s quick appointment of a RIN Integrity Task Force early this year has produced results that many in the industry believe will help prevent fraud and restore confidence in the RIN market and, most importantly, allow small and medium producers to move their RINs so they can do what they do best: produce quality biodiesel fuel for their local communities.
A number of RIN programs exist. Murex N.A. Ltd., for example, boasts 100 percent validity in 7.6 billion RINs moved, but the NBB supported development of one in particular: Genscape’s trademarked RIN Integrity Network. Biodiesel producers have various, reasonably priced payment options to be a part of Genscape’s network, which involves monitoring a spectrum of activities at their production facilities so, through a dashboard, obligated parties can be assured credits generated by subscribed producers are valid. The program launched in late May, but negotiations between Genscape and Lee Enterprises Consulting led to the rollout of version 2.0 less than three weeks later. Lee Enterprises’ RIN 9000 program possessed aspects that Genscape found desirable, such as fuel quality sampling and RIN education, and a deal was struck to merge RIN 9000 into Genscape’s RIN Integrity Network. Genscape is confident the move will benefit all parties involved. Best of all, a solution is now available to help the small biodiesel producer get back on track. Adaptability is one of this industry’s biggest strengths.
Other positive news in the past few months include mold-making strategies such as small feedstock, biodiesel production and distribution companies collaborating to reduce costs and increase biodiesel availability, such as the vertical model developing in the Pacific Northwest and profiled in our Distribution feature, “A Collaborative Approach,” on page 26. Also, new biodiesel infrastructure incentives in Florida aim to spark the economy while broadening biodiesel’s presence in the retail market. Read about them in “Building Opportunity” on page 22.