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E15 survives Supreme Court challenge

By Jonathan Sweet
June 24, 2013
Filed under News

The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear a challenge brought by marine industry groups and others against the Environmental Protection Agency’s waiver allowing E15 in the marketplace.

Along with groups representing industries ranging from farmers to oil companies, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas had asked the court to review an August 2012 decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. In that case, the appeals court ruled that the groups did not have legal standing to challenge the EPA’s waiver allowing the 15 percent ethanol blend to be sold.

In an email to Boating Industry, the NMMA expressed disappointment in the decision.

“While we are disappointed that the US Supreme Court has denied certiorari on the E15 case in which NMMA is involved, we are committed to continuing our work against mid-level ethanol blends on behalf of the recreational boating industry,” said Nicole Vasilaros, director of Regulatory and Legal Affairs. “Through legislative action and research surrounding alternative biofuels, NMMA continues the fight against the harmful effects of E15. NMMA is also currently involved in a misfueling case that was set aside pending this review. We look forward to any next steps the misfueling case may also provide to protect the recreational boating industry and its consumers.”

Several legislative options to address the use of E15 have also been introduced in both the House and Senate.

  • H.R. 875, introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., blocks the use of any blend of more than 10 percent ethanol until further study can be done on potential damage from the use of E15. That bill was approved out of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in April but has had no further action.
  • H.R. 1461 & H.R. 1462, were both introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. The two bills call for the reforming of the Renewable Fuel Standard and capping ethanol at 10 percent. Both were introduced in April and referred to the House Subcommittee on Energy & Power.
  • S. 344, introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Sen. David Vitters, R-La., prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing waivers for any gasoline blend of more than 10 percent ethanol and would repeal the previous waivers that allowed E15 on the market. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

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