The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit has sided with the Environmental Protection Agency and its partial waiver approval for E15. The initial waiver was filed in March of 2009. Vehicles were tested using E15 for a combined six-million miles, health effects data on the fuel was collected and approved and a first of its kind misfueling mitigation plan was required and approved in order for retailers to offer E15. The EPA ultimately approved E15 for model year 2001 and newer light duty vehicles and all flex fuel vehicles. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis called the court’s decision to reject multiple legal challenges to the introduction of E15 into the commercial marketplace a win-win for the American consumer and the nation. Bob Dinneen – Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO – says the decision is an important step forward in the nation’s quest to diversify its fuel supply.
According to Dinneen – the addition of the E15 option with other ethanol blends allows consumers to make the fuel decisions that work best for them and their vehicle. He notes ethanol has a 30 year track record of safe and effective use in the marketplace. He says that record will continue. Dinneen adds that allowing additional ethanol use will help lower prices at the pump, create domestic jobs and accelerate the commercialization of new biofuel technologies. The market for ethanol confined to E10 blends has been saturated. But RFA says allowing ethanol blends of up to E15 for 2001 and newer vehicles – along with increasing the availability of higher blends up to E85 – will provide much-needed market access to help ensure the continued growth and evolution of the domestic renewable fuels industry.