Groups File Petition for Rehearing of DC Circuit RVP Decision

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association have filed a petition for rehearing with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the July 2 decision in which the court vacated a 2019 regulation allowing year-round sales of 15% ethanol fuel blends (E15). The petition asks the full court to rehear the case because of significant legal errors in the three-judge panel’s decision.

“If allowed to stand, this court’s decision to vacate EPA’s rulemaking to allow E15 to be sold year-round will have devastating consequences for the market expansion of homegrown biofuels. Petitioning for a rehearing is a critical next step in giving biofuel producers and farmers a fair shot in the marketplace and providing American drivers with better access to cleaner fuel choices. We are hopeful that the full court takes up the petition and reverses the panel’s decision.”

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a 2019 rule by the Environmental Protection Agency that lifted outdated restrictions on the sale of E15. The case, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, et al. vs. EPA, was a challenge by oil refiners to the rulemaking that allowed the year-round sale of E15.

RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White says the decision could bring expansion of E15 to a halt. “It will stall more retailers that were, in some cases, at the ready or already rolling out more E15 stations,” said White. “It also effects terminals because they have to do things differently.”

White adds that there are other ways of extending the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to E15 and RFA continues to look at options.

RFA's Robert White on E15 decision (1:19)

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