Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of E15. The suit, brought by anti-ethanol groups, was dismissed on the grounds that none of the petitioners had standing to bring the action.
“The decision of the U.S. appeals court reinforces what we have known for years that continued attempts to block consumer choice will eventually fail,” said the National Corn Growers Association in a statement. “The EPA has tested E15 extensively and concluded that it is safe for use in cars in 2001 and newer. The science is on our side, and we firmly believe that consumer choice will prevail in the end.”
The suit alleged that 15% ethanol blends harm engines and push up the price of both food and gasoline. While much data to the contrary exists, the lack of subject matter jurisdiction ensured the claim did not proceed.
The ruling represents another step forward for the ethanol industry and the farmers who grow feedstock for biofuels.
In 2009, the EPA began consideration of a petition to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline from 10% to 15%. In October 2010, the EPA approved E15 for use in cars from model years 2007 and later. Finally, the agency increased the number of vehicles approved for E15 use, broadening the decision to include cars made from 2001 to 2006.