Kansas and Nebraska team to block EPA rules on higher ethanol blends

Source: By Meghan Sapp, Biofuels Digest • Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In Kansas, the state’s Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked a federal appeals court to block new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that discourage the use of ethanol by requiring states to adopt conclusions about ethanol emissions not backed by scientific facts.

The lawsuit, filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, asks the court to reject new EPA regulations that will require states to immediately begin using the MOVES2014 model in their State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for controlling pollutants governed by national air quality standards. By implementing the MOVES2014 model without the opportunity for review and comment by the states and affected parties, the EPA forces states to measure emissions from ethanol-blended fuels in a way that incorrectly predicts higher levels of pollution.

The MOVES2014 model is based on an EPA-commissioned fuel study that purports to analyze the emissions effects of different fuel parameters, including ethanol content, while artificially and unnecessarily holding other fuel parameters constant. This so-called “match-blending” methodology unfairly targets ethanol and assigns disproportionate negative emissions effects. The dictated use of this model effectively blocks states from encouraging the use of ethanol as part of their clean air plans.

The case is State of Kansas, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, the Energy Future Coalition, and the Urban Air Initiative, Inc. joined Schmidt in filing the case.