Challenge to EPA Ethanol Ruling Denied

A federal court preserved an EPA ruling that permits the sale of a high-ethanol fuel blend.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied a rehearing on the EPA decision that put fuels with a 15% ethanol concentration, known as E15, on the market.

The development is a win for the biofuels industry that is fighting to protect the mandate, but a setback for the oil and gas industry that opposes the use of E15.

While EPA has said cars made in 2001 or later can safely use E15, the oil-and-gas industry challenges it will harm them and could void warranties.

"We remain concerned that EPA’s partial waiver will result in significant misfueling and will harm consumers. EPA has authorized the sale of an ethanol blend that virtually every automobile manufacturer has warned will damage existing vehicles," Rich Moskowitz, general counsel with the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, said in a statement.

The same concerns have been expressed by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institue (OPEI) regarding outdoor power equipment. OPEI president and CEO, Kris Kiser, shared that the challenge was denied because the inability to show specific harm as a result of the EPA’s decision, illustrated a lack of "standing".

"It is regrettable that the court is insisting to see personal or economic injury before they can take action.Our interest is to protect the consumer; we’re trying to prevent the harm from happening in the first place,” says Kiser. 

“Now, we will reconsider moving forward on a mis-fueling rule challenge concerning EPA’s wholly inadequate solution to avoid mis-fueling, which consists of a small 3x3 gas pump label," Kiser adds. "EPA denied our petition to have an E10 legacy fuel for the marketplace; we remain adamant that an E10 fuel stay in the marketplace for all products not approved for E15 use.”   

 Read the full story here and more on the blending mandate here.