Ethanol lawsuit against EPA rejected by appeals court
BY TOM SCHOENBERG Bloomberg News
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
1/16/13 at 3:26 AM
A federal appeals court has refused to reconsider a decision to throw out a lawsuit challenging an Environmental Protection Agency rule that allows higher concentrations of corn-based ethanol in gasoline.
On the losing side were grocery, auto and oil industry trade groups that sued in 2010, saying using more corn-based ethanol in auto fuel would harm engines and push up the price of food and gasoline.
Tuesday's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a three-judge panel's ruling in August that said the industries could not show they had suffered specific harm as a result of the EPA's decision.
Six of seven judges who reviewed the case voted to let stand the earlier decision.
U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh said in a five-page dissent that throwing out the case because the industries lacked standing to sue was mistaken. The case has "significant economic ramifications for the American food and petroleum industries, as well as for American consumers who will ultimately bear some of the costs," Kavanaugh wrote.
He said the EPA would have lost if the court had considered the merits of the arguments.
Kavanaugh also cast a dissenting vote in the August decision.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the American Petroleum Institute and groups representing companies such as Tyson Foods Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. challenged two EPA decisions that allowed the introduction of E15, a gasoline blended with ethanol.
Carmakers have told Congress that vehicle warranties won't cover damage caused by E15.
The EPA in 2010 granted a request from ethanol producers to permit increased concentrations of the corn-based fuel in gasoline to 15 percent from 10 percent for vehicles made for model years 2007 and newer.
Original Print Headline: Court won't revisit its decision on ethanol case
A driver loads a tanker trailer with ethanol at the Great River Energy Blue Flint Ethanol plant in Underwood, N.D. A federal appeals court has rejected a suit challenging an EPA rule allowing higher concentrations of ethanol in gasoline. Bloomberg file