Supreme Court denies E15 case rehearing

June 24, 2013
Petroleum industry claims decision will have negative consequences for consumers.

The Supreme Court has decided not to hear an E15-related case, it announced this

The lawsuit relates to EPA's 2011 finalized waivers to allow for 2001 and newer
vehicles to run on higher blends of ethanol up to 15 percent (based on two decisions,
one made in 2010 and one in 2011). In November 2010 (after the first E15 waiver
was approved), the American Petroleum Institute (API) filed an E15 lawsuit with
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, saying the agency did
not have the authority to approve a partial waiver. A handful of engine and food
groups filed similar suits, which were later consolidated into a main case.

However, in January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
denied requests by the groups for a rehearing. That followed an August 2012 D.C.
Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that none of the parties had standing in the
case (although one of the judges ruled that the parties did in fact have
standing). Since then, three different requests for review were filed with the
Supreme Court.

"Today's court decision is a big loss for consumers, for safety and for our
environment," said Harry Ng, API vice president and general counsel. "EPA
approved E15 before vehicle testing was complete, and we now know that the fuel
may cause significant mechanical problems in millions of cars on the road
today," he said.

Ng noted that by dismissing the case on procedural grounds, the courts have
declined to make a decision on the merits of the case.

"The Supreme Court's decision denies the petitioners their day in court and will
have negative repercussions for consumers. It is unfortunate that EPA's decision
to place politics ahead of science will stand," said Charles Drevna, president
of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), which filed comments
in the case. "AFPM continues to assert that EPA overstepped its authority under
the Clean Air Act when it granted partial waivers to allow the use of E15 in
certain engines, including vehicles model year 2001 and newer," he added.

Meanwhile, Growth Energy, which joined the lawsuit on the side of EPA, praised
the court's decision. "Today is a true victory for the American biofuels
industry," said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. "Time and again, Big Oil has
challenged E15 and Growth Energy's Green Jobs Waiver in attempts to deny
consumers a choice and savings at the pump and today marks the end of these
baseless challenges.

"The highest court in the land has spoken -- they have unequivocally rejected
the attempts of Big Oil and other opponents of ethanol to challenge the EPA's
sensible decision to permit the sale of E15," Buis continued. "Now that the
final word has been issued, I hope that oil companies will begin to work with
biofuel producers to help bring new blends into the marketplace that allow for
consumer choice and savings," he added.

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), which did not join the lawsuit, said it
was "pleased that today's Supreme Court action ends a long and drawn out
petroleum industry effort to derail the commercialization of E15. The
uncertainty created by this lawsuit has chilled commercial activity that would
provide American consumers more affordable choices at the pump. With this
decision, E15 can finally become a meaningful option for more Americans," RFA
President Bob Dinneen said.

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