AFPM seeks court review of EPA’s year-round E15 authorization

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers asked a federal appeals court to review the US Environmental Protection Agency’s authorization for gasoline with 15% ethanol (E15) to be sold year-round in the US. AFPM submitted its petition June 11 to US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia.

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers asked a federal appeals court to review the US Environmental Protection Agency’s authorization for gasoline with 15% ethanol (E15) to be sold year-round in the US (OGJ Online, May 31, 2019). AFPM submitted its petition June 11 to US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia.

“We fully expect the court’s ruling to align with what the EPA and Congress have each previously concluded: the plain language of the Clean Air Act does not authorize a [Reid vapor pressure] waiver expansion beyond E10. Nothing has changed—a waiver for E15 is unlawful, plain and simple,” AFPM Pres. Chet Thompson separately said.

The Renewable Fuels Association announced that it plans to intervene in support of EPA’s E15 final rule. “It was entirely predictable that Big Oil would challenge [US] President [Donald] Trump’s effort to provide increased competition, consumer choice at the pump, and lower gasoline prices for a higher-octane fuel,” RFA Pres. Geoff Cooper said. “But EPA’s legal analysis is sound and is overwhelmingly supported by the public record and a plain reading of the statute.”

Corn ethanol suppliers sought a waiver from volatility control requirements that previously limited the ethanol content in gasoline to 10% during the summer months because pollutant emissions would increase otherwise. They argued that the restriction limited both consumer’s choices and ethanol market growth.

Thompson said the situation reflected a broader need to reform the federal Renewable Fuel Standard under which refiners and other obligated parties are required to meet ethanol volume quotas.

Noting that the president was preparing to visit an Iowa ethanol plant on June 18, the AFPM official said Trump “should listen to refinery employees and constituents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and elsewhere to fully understand the economic harm the RFS is causing and the overwhelming need for its reform.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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