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Court Denies Rehearing of E15 Case

Case brought by trade groups against commercial E15 is silenced.

Published on: Jan 16, 2013

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday denied petitions for rehearing in a case challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to permit the commercial use of E15.

The case, Grocery Manufacturers Association, et al. v. EPA, claimed that the EPA did not have the authority to grant a partial waiver of the Clean Air Act for the sale of E15 to be used in model year 2006 and newer cars. The case was first filed in November, 2010.

Initial plaintiffs in the suit included the American Meat Institute, the National Council of Chain Restaurants, the National Meat Association, the National Turkey Federation, the National Chicken Council, the National Pork Producers Council, the Snack Food Association and the American Frozen Food Institute.

Case brought by trade groups against commercial E15 is silenced.
Case brought by trade groups against commercial E15 is silenced.

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers on Oct. 1, 2012, filed a petition for a rehearing of the case, reasoning again that EPA "overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act."

The group said studies have shown that E15 causes engine damage and raised concerns about a fuel "not approved for use by the manufacturers of more than 228 million vehicles on the road today."

AFPM cited a recent survey by the American Automobile Association that found a likelihood of consumer confusion and potential for vehicle damage as a result of EPA's approval of E15.

However, Tom Buis, CEO of ethanol trade group Growth Energy and advocate of higher ethanol blends, said the court's Tuesday ruling was a "major victory" for the renewable fuels industry, and could allow further investments in fueling technology for E15.

The decision "is a win-win for American consumers, providing them with both a choice and savings at the pump, and is a critical step in increasing market access," Buis said. He added that E15 will create jobs and make cleaner burning fuel available.

Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh was the only dissenting judge in the case.

"[T]he panel’s standing holding is problematic … because it is outcome-determinative in a case with significant economic ramifications for the American food and petroleum industries, as well as for American consumers who will ultimately bear some of the costs," Kavanaugh wrote.

Judge Kavanaugh also mentioned the AAA study in a footnote in his dissent.

EPA first approved E15 for cars 2001 and newer in June, 2012.

Add Comment
  1. Skibum4106 says:

    My 2006 Yamaha Attack runs too rich so I add about 3 gallons of E-85 then fill the balance with E-10 every time that I fill it up.

    • Skibum4106 says:

      I was talking about my snowmobile, but I have added considerable amounts of E-85 to my 1999 Chrysler Minni Van and 1988 Chevy pick up also. And to a 1995 Geo Tracker too. I filled up the Geo with E-30 in North Dakota with no Problems.

  2. Rich says:

    I have a stock 1991 Buick Park Ave that I've been splash blending at 40% E85 for three years now during the summer months. I started it as an experiment to see how much I could get away with in such and old car. I haven't had a single problem with it. At this point, if a manufacturer hasn't got a proper design that handles E15 then shame on them. I'm really getting tired of the fear mongering anti-ethanol folks.

    • geo says:

      Rich, I don't call it "fear mongering" when the crap being sold to us at the pump really screws-up a small engine fuel system and costs us many hundreds of $$$ when it "gunks them up". Just quit pushing the crap off on us who really want to buy real gasoline and can't because of the great lobby the ethanol industry has and then the have the balls to pay off the judges.

      • Minnkinn says:

        Geo, will speak on my experience with E-10 in small engines. I have used E-10 since it was introduced in multiple lawn mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, weed whackers, transfer pumps and ATVs without any problems. No gunk problems. I've also blended E-10 and E-85 at a 50/50 mix in a 1989 Chev pickup without any sacrifice in mileage or performance for over 100,000 miles and presently trying that mix in a Ford ranger with 3.0 liter with no problems. Quite the accusations of paying off judges, would like to know the sources of that info......