A coalition of food, agriculture and petroleum organizations have appealed with the U.S. Supreme Court a D.C. Circuit Court decision rejecting a challenge to EPA's grant of partial waivers for use of the ethanol-gasoline blend E15.
"We've filed this petition because the D.C. Circuit incorrectly concluded that none of the 17 petitioners had standing to challenge the E15 partial waivers – not the engine manufacturers whose products will run on this new fuel blend, not the petroleum industry who must undertake massive infrastructure changes to accommodate the blend and meet the renewable fuel mandate, and not the food producers who now face significantly greater competition in the commodities market for corn, the conventional feedstock for ethanol," said Bob Greco, American Petroleum Institute director of downstream and industry operations.
Greco said EPA's testing of engines and fuel systems was incomplete before allowing the use of E15. Had it waited, Greco said, "Then it would have discovered that E15 is not safe for millions of vehicles now on the road."
Greco said that API is not opposed to the use of renewable fuels in the gasoline supply, and understands refiners will continue using ethanol and other biofuels with or without the RFS mandate. But, API pointed out that improvements in domestic oil and gas resources are also instrumental in reducing dependence on foreign oil, regardless of the RFS.
"Although we hope the court will resolve the E15 problem, we also believe our experience here represents only one of many underlying problems with the Renewable Fuel Standard, so we are calling on Congress to repeal the program."
In response to the suit, Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dineen said, "We now know why gas prices keep going up and up – to fund unnecessary Big Oil lawsuits to protect their monopoly on the fuel market."
Groups involved in the API lawsuit include: American Meat Institute, National Chicken Council, National Council of Chain Restaurants of the National Retail Federation, North American Meat Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation and the Snack Food Association.