Supreme disappointment for ethanol

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Supreme Court turned down a request from biofuel backers to examine a case on the year-round sale of gasoline blended with higher levels of ethanol. The court denied a petition from ethanol supporters that centered on a lower court decision, which vacated the Trump administration’s rule to allow gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol to be sold year-round, including the summer months. Summer sale for E15 fuel was previously restricted due to air pollution regulations.

The D.C. Circuit case centered on whether the Clean Air Act gave EPA the power to open the summer season to E15 fuel sales. Fossil fuel refiners contend the plain language of the law does not, while biofuel backers argue the contrary, adding that opening up E15 sales would introduce cleaner options to the nation’s fuel mix.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a vocal biofuel backer in the Senate, said she was “extremely disappointed” in the Supreme Court decision, adding in a tweet that she’d work as a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on permitting year-round E15 sales. Ernst had pushed the Supreme Court to take on the case Friday, saying in a statement that “Iowa farmers, biofuel producers, and American consumers need certainty, and they need it now.”