Appeals Court Denies Challenge to 15% Ethanol

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today denied petitions for rehearing in the case of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, et al. v. EPA, which challenges the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to allowing commercial sales of 15% ethanol (E15).

“Today’s order leaves in place an earlier decision by the Court denying challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to allow for E15 to enter the U.S. market,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis of the action, which he calls a “major victory for the renewable fuels industry and opens the door for further investment in new fueling technology to offer E15 to consumers.”

In January 2011, EPA approved E15 for use in cars and trucks made in 2001 or later. The Grocery Manufacturers and other groups, including the American Petroleum Institute (API), challenged the approval contending the E15 will cause harm to motor vehicle engines. The organizations also continue to challenge the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). During a media conference call today, officials with API called the RFS “unworkable” and said they would “like to see complete repeal” of the law.

Renewable Fuels Association
president and CEO Bob Dinneen refuted those comments in a statement calling the RFS “a proven success.”

“It is a highly flexible, effective, proven energy policy,” said Dinneen. “API knows this to be a fact which is why they are continually running to the courts and Congress to kill it. The RFS is stimulating investment in next generation ethanol which is coming to fruition before our eyes. The RFS is also driving the marketplace beyond ethanol’s use as an ‘additive’, which was a fundamental objective of the program. Higher ethanol blends, from E15 to E85, will be key to providing consumers the choice at the pump they want and the relief for the wallet they need. E15 and E85 are available right here, right now and Big Oil doesn’t like it.”

2 thoughts on “Appeals Court Denies Challenge to 15% Ethanol

  1. I am a graduate of the Renewable Fuels program at Northeast Community College (2010) in Norfolk NE. What I don’t understand is why isn’t the Renewable Fuels Association putting more pressure on fuel suppliers to have blender pumps throughout Nebraska? I got a job at ADM, Columbus Nebraska, right after my internship there. The funny thing is you cannot buy E-85 anywhere in Columbus. ADM is arguably the largest ethanol producer throughout Central Nebraska. Why bother buying a Flex Fuel vehicle if all you can get in a 50-60 mile radius of Columbus is E-10? Most of my immediate family lives in Michigan, when I make the trip to visit I dread it when I get past Iowa because I know that the savings of E-10 disappears once that last tank runs out. In order for ethanol to be successful it has to be made available to the whole country. In Nebraska the Mid-grade E-10, which has a higher octane than regular gasoline, is around $.10 a gallon cheaper than regular gasoline. Take a trip down I-80 heading east and see what happens to the fuel prices. In Illinois, the price for E-10 is higher just as it is in Michigan. No wonder the general public is confused about the RFS, it is because they don’t see or reap the benefits of it. This is a failure to bring to market something that could benefit the country as a whole but yet here we stand segregated by Big Oil and the API’s agenda. Every ethanol plant should have a blender pump and E-15 made available to the public at least the locals could then enjoy true savings by buying a Flex Fuel vehicle.

  2. I agree that ethanol is a good thing for the environment but that is as far as it goes. in cars it is not as big of issue simply because gas usually does not sit for long periods of time. however, there are a lot of other equipment that does sit for long periods in between uses. and ethanol eats the fuel systems up big time. this not conjecture but fact. any repair shop can show you what happens to ethanol blended fuels in a fuel system.

    plus, what people in the RFA are not telling people is that the btu’s of ethanol are a lot less than gasoline. in fact it is 1/3 less. yes the octane is higher, but the power is lower. therefore the gas mileage is reduced. so if you have to fill up more often with cheaper gas, where is the savings?