UpdateUS court throws out challenge to E15 auto fuel

18 August 2012 00:14  [Source: ICIS news]

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HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US appeals on Friday court ruled in favour of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) allowance of E15 ethanol-blended gasoline for most US automobiles.

The US Appeals Court in Washington threw out a challenge by petroleum, grocery and automobile associations who claimed E15 could harm engines and was inadequately tested.

The trade groups said the 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.

E15 gasoline is blended with 15% ethanol. The ruling impacts nearly two thirds of all vehicles on the road.

The court action was hailed by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), a corn ethanol trade group.

“Adding an E15 option along side E10 and higher ethanol blends allows consumers to make the fuel decisions that work best for them and their vehicle,” said RFA president Bob Dinneen.

The court said the various trade groups did not have standing to press their case.

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) was one of the groups who asked the court to address the EPA rules.

"The court's ruling upholds EPA's irresponsible decision that puts consumers at risk. AFPM members want to ensure that all fuels sold into commerce are safe for consumers, effective and reliable, but today's decision confounds our ability to do so,” said AFPM president Charles Drevna.

The court said it was no convincing proof that E15 could harm engines.

The court also said there was nothing in the E15 rule that required refiners to make or sell ethanol.
The AFPM said it would evaluate the court decision to “determine potential next steps”. It said a new study contains additional evidence of vehicle damage from E15.

By: Brian Ford
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