Refining group asks Supreme Court to take up E15 challenge

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013

Refining group American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers has become the latest group to petition the Supreme Court to take up a challenge of U.S. EPA’s decision to allow gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol in the fuel market.

The organization today said it asked that the high court review a ruling last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that found AFPM and others did not have legal standing to pursue a challenge of EPA’s decision. The appeals court ruled that the groups did not show actual injury from the expansion of ethanol in the market from 10 percent to 15 percent.

In its brief, the refining group argues that the D.C. appeals court decision limits injured parties from being able to seek judicial review of regulatory actions. AFPM lays out several injuries that it says stems from E15, including the need to invest in infrastructure to carry the fuel and potential liability from damage to car engines.

“The time has come to correct the irresponsible decision of EPA. Studies have shown that E15 use causes damage to engines that could result in safety, liability and warranty issues,” AFPM President Charles Drevna said in a statement.

The petition makes arguments similar to two other Supreme Court petitions filed this year from automakers and a coalition made up of livestock groups and the American Petroleum Institute (Greenwire, Feb. 21).

EPA has approved E15 for use in model year 2001 cars and newer, though it has been slow so far to penetrate the market dominated by E10, or gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol.