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Ethanol mandate threatens jobs:  A renewed war over the federal ethanol mandate has cast a cloud over the biofuels industry as it gathers this week for its annual convention, with critics charging that the sector and its champions in Washington are slowly crushing oil refiners, which say they are struggling to comply with the law.

The debate, which has raged since Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2007 requiring the blending of ethanol with gasoline, reached new heights over the past two weeks after a Philadelphia-based oil refiner claimed the program led to its bankruptcy. Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the largest oil refinery on the East Coast, pinned its financial woes on the ethanol mandate and said that over the past two years it had spent exorbitant amounts of money buying “renewable identification numbers,” or RINs, which act as a verification mechanism to ensure that gallons of gas are blended with the amount of ethanol required by federal law.

Oil industry leaders say the system is deeply flawed and that the problems that led to Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ bankruptcy could spread throughout the refining sector and, if not corrected, could cause significant spikes in prices at the pump for consumers.

“Anybody who cares about affordable energy supplies, American energy security and blue-collar jobs should be worried about the impact of the poor structure of the RINs market,” said Brendan Williams, vice president of government relations at PBF Energy Co., a New Jersey-based refining company. “Here’s a regulation that’s crafted in a way where it’s threatening those very manufacturing jobs that [President Trump] promised to defend and support. Read more

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Ethanol mandate threatens jobs:  A renewed war over the federal ethanol mandate has cast a cloud over the biofuels industry as it gathers this week for its annual convention, with critics charging that the sector and its champions in Washington are slowly crushing oil refiners, which say they are struggling to comply with the law.

The debate, which has raged since Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2007 requiring the blending of ethanol with gasoline, reached new heights over the past two weeks after a Philadelphia-based oil refiner claimed the program led to its bankruptcy. Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the largest oil refinery on the East Coast, pinned its financial woes on the ethanol mandate and said that over the past two years it had spent exorbitant amounts of money buying “renewable identification numbers,” or RINs, which act as a verification mechanism to ensure that gallons of gas are blended with the amount of ethanol required by federal law.