Judges deny request for full court rehearing of E15 case

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A federal court today denied petitions by groups representing oil refiners, food producers and automakers to rehear their cases challenging U.S. EPA’s approval of expanded ethanol use in the market.

The groups had asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the full court to reconsider a summer ruling that they did not have legal standing to pursue a challenge to EPA’s decision on E15, or gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol.

EPA had approved the fuel for use in vehicles from model years 2001 and newer; currently, gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol is the standard in the marketplace.

In an August ruling, a three-judge panel dismissed the entire case (Greenwire, Aug. 17, 2012). In an order today, the court rejected the petitions from all three categories of trade organizations for a rehearing of the entire court sitting en banc.

Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh was the only judge to dissent from the denial of the petition, saying that food producers and petroleum refiners “plainly have standing.” Last year, Kavanaugh was also the only judge to dissent from the panel’s E15 ruling.