US Supreme Court refuses to hear challenge to EPA’s E15 rollout

The US Supreme Court refused to hear a legal challenge to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s program introducing gasoline with a 15% ethanol blend to the domestic marketplace.

Groups representing refiners, vehicle manufacturers, and grocery wholesalers asked the high court for a hearing after the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled they lacked standing to challenge EPA’s action.

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and American Petroleum Institute officials separately expressed their disappointment.

“The Supreme Court’s decision denies the petitioners their day in court and will have negative repercussions for consumers,” AFPM Pres. Charles T. Drevna said. “It is unfortunate that EPA's decision to place politics ahead of science will stand.”

“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 the fuel may cause significant mechanical problems in millions of cars on the road today.”

Groups representing fuel ethanol producers were pleased. “The uncertainty created by this lawsuit has chilled commercial activity that would provide American consumers more affordable choices at the pump,” Renewable Fuels Association Pres. Bob Dineen said. “With this decision, E15 can finally become a meaningful option for more Americans.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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