Appeals Court Denies Challenge to 15% Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today denied petitions for rehearing in the case of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, et al. v. EPA, which challenges the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to allowing commercial sales of 15% ethanol (E15).

“Today’s order leaves in place an earlier decision by the Court denying challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to allow for E15 to enter the U.S. market,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis of the action, which he calls a “major victory for the renewable fuels industry and opens the door for further investment in new fueling technology to offer E15 to consumers.”

In January 2011, EPA approved E15 for use in cars and trucks made in 2001 or later. The Grocery Manufacturers and other groups, including the American Petroleum Institute (API), challenged the approval contending the E15 will cause harm to motor vehicle engines. The organizations also continue to challenge the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). During a media conference call today, officials with API called the RFS “unworkable” and said they would “like to see complete repeal” of the law.

Renewable Fuels Association
president and CEO Bob Dinneen refuted those comments in a statement calling the RFS “a proven success.”

“It is a highly flexible, effective, proven energy policy,” said Dinneen. “API knows this to be a fact which is why they are continually running to the courts and Congress to kill it. The RFS is stimulating investment in next generation ethanol which is coming to fruition before our eyes. The RFS is also driving the marketplace beyond ethanol’s use as an ‘additive’, which was a fundamental objective of the program. Higher ethanol blends, from E15 to E85, will be key to providing consumers the choice at the pump they want and the relief for the wallet they need. E15 and E85 are available right here, right now and Big Oil doesn’t like it.”

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Growth Energy, RFA