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EPA Seeks High Court Ruling on E15

Posted on May 31, 2013

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked the Supreme Court to deny a request from multiple industries to review a lower court ruling upholding the agency's approval of E15, the 15% ethanol-gasoline fuel blend.

Three trade groups, which include many small engine and equipment manufacturers, have also petitioned tthe high court to take up the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit's 2012 decision upholding EPA's waiver for E15, which allowed it to enter the market for certain light-duty vehicles. The appeals panel ruled that the three industry groups lacked the standing to challenge the EPA's 2009 decision to grant a waiver for E15 under the Clean Air Act and failed to prove how the waiver directly injured them.

The three industry-related groups have each filed petitions to the Supreme Court for review of the appeals court ruling. The groups have made several attempts to show how they have standing, most of which were dismissed by the circuit court. Engine manufacturers, for example, have said they will be harmed because consumers will use E15 fuel in engines that are not designed for it. That will lead to liability and warranty claims, they argue.

The justices will consider whether to grant the industry petitions either before the current term ends in June or when they return next fall. It takes the votes of four justices to take up the case.