WASHINGTON - The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit has dismissed the challenges brought forth by trade associations representing automakers, refiners and other industries on the Environmental Protection Agency€™s E15 waiver, saying that the groups did not have a legal right to challenge the EPA decision.
In 2010, EPA issued a partial waiver that allows for the use of E15 in vehicles manufacture during or after model year 2007. In 2011, EPA expanded authorized use of E15 to include model year 2001 and later vehicles.
The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), one of the groups that challenged the EPA€™s E15 waiver, maintains that the court€™s decision puts consumers at risk.
"AFPM members want to ensure that all fuels sold into commerce are safe for consumers, effective and reliable, but today€™s decision confounds our ability to do so. Vehicle testing has confirmed that E15 damages certain engines. In fact, vehicle manufacturers have begun to include warnings on their gas caps that E15 could void vehicle warranties. This decision will harm every American who owns a car, truck or small engine equipment," said President Charles Drevna.
AFPM and a number of other industry groups have repeatedly raised concerns with the use of E15, noting that studies have shown that E15 causes engine damage to passenger vehicles, boats and outdoor power equipment, creating safety, liability and warranty issues.
Drevna continued, "In its rush to force E15 on the market, EPA neglected to conduct the necessary testing to ensure the safety of American consumers. Political science and the advancement of one industry should never be placed ahead of real science and consumer welfare." AFPM says that its members will evaluate the decision and determine potential next steps.
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), meanwhile, applauded the court€™s decision, calling it "an important step forward" in diversifying the U.S. fuel supply.
"Adding an E15 option along side E10 and higher ethanol blends allows consumers to make the fuel decisions that work best for them and their vehicle. Ethanol has a 30-year track record of safe and effective use in the market place and that record will continue. Allowing for additional ethanol use will help lower prices at the pump, create domestic jobs and accelerate the commercialization of new biofuel technologies," said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen in a press release.