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E15 decision leaving consumers at risk

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Disappointment has been expressed by the AFPM after the Supreme Court decided not to consider the association’s challenge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) E15 waivers.

EPA waiver

The waiver allows gasoline containing 15% ethanol, a 50% increase over a safe and efficient product, to be sold into the general fuel supply. AFPM challenged the legality of EPA’s decision because E15 has been shown to cause engine damage in most automobiles, boats and outdoor power equipment, such as chainsaws and lawnmowers.

The D.C. Circuit Court, which first considered the AFPM’s case, ruled that the refining industry lacked standing to challenge the EPA’s decision. The court reached this conclusion despite the fact that refiners are forced to produce new gasoline blendstocks, invest in the infrastructure necessary to carry two types of fuels and face potential liabilities from engine damage because of the EPA’s decision. In a dissenting opinion, Judge Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit found EPA ‘ran roughshod over the relevant statutory limits.’ The AFPM petitioned the Supreme Court to reconsider the district court’s ruling, arguing that the DC Circuit’s decision incorrectly limits the ability of injured parties to seek judicial review of federal agency actions.

The AFPM will continue to assert that the EPA has overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act when it granted partial waivers to allow the use of E15 in certain engines, including vehicle model year 2001 and newer. Objective tests have shown that E15 may cause engine damage in vehicles and therefore should not be an approved fuel under the Clean Air Act that can be sold in the general gasoline supply.

Comment from Drevna

‘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 AFPM President Charles T. Drevna.

Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd.

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