“Independent refiners have been hard hit by a rule that requires them to obtain Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard to prove compliance with ethanol blending requirements. Most gasoline sold at service stations now contains 10% ethanol. The refining industry has been pushing hard to get the EPA to relax the rules,” reports Andrew Bary for Barron’s.

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Furthermore, many refiners have generated free cash flow, which have been returned to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks. While yields have remained relatively low, dividend growth is picking up.

“The view on Wall Street has been that the EPA wouldn’t relent because of pressure from companies benefiting from the RINs windfall and bureaucratic inertia. Yet EPA’s arbitrary policy may get some scrutiny from the new Trump administration,” according to Barron’s.

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VanEck Vectors Oil Refiners ETF (NYSEArca: CRAK)