The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Suit Filed Against EPA's E15 Waiver

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted November 9, 2010

API and a group of food and farm industry associations filed a lawsuit today with the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit against the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) E15 waiver decision.

The suit says the EPA lacks the statutory authority to approve an increase in the ethanol content of gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent only for use in 2007 and newer model year cars and light-duty trucks. Further, it says the waiver was approved before testing was completed on the safety, performance and environmental impacts of the new fuel.

"The EPA's partial waiver is premature," said API's Director of Downstream Operations Bob Greco, "and puts consumers at risk. Ongoing testing by our industry, the automakers and the Department of Energy...[has] revealed potential safety and performance problems that could affect consumers and the investments they've made in their automobiles."

More specifically, the Coordinating Research Council (CRC), which is conducting the research on ethanol-blended fuels, found that fuels containing more than 10 percent ethanol "can lead to compression loss, misfire, and catalyst damage." Additionally, engine manufacturers for outdoor equipment have warned that "putting anything other than E10 in non-road, small engines can cause performance irregularities and equipment failure."

API remains committed to the use of renewable fuels in the nation's energy mix. In fact, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is the largest consumer of ethanol and other biofuels. But new fuels should be introduced in a manner that protects consumers.

As Bob Greco explains, "rushing to allow more ethanol before we know if it is safe could be disastrous for consumers and could jeopardize the future of renewable fuels."

The trade associations who filed the suit along with API today include the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the American Frozen Food Institute, the American Meat Institute, the National Chicken Council, the National Council of Chain Restaurants of the National Retail Federation, the National Meat Association, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Turkey Federation and the Snack Food Federation.