US energy group asks Supreme Court to overturn E15 ethanol blends

The American Petroleum Institute (API) filed a brief with the Supreme Court regarding EPA’s recent approval of a blend of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline (E15), the trade group said Wednesday.

The API said that E15 ethanol blends have been shown to damage millions of cars on the road today.

“E15 could leave millions of consumers with broken down cars and high repair bills,” said Bob Greco, API group downstream director.

“It could also put motorists in harm’s way when vehicles break down in the middle of a busy highway. We are asking the Supreme Court to step in and protect consumers by striking down EPA’s dangerous E15 mandate before it’s too late.”

The API says higher ethanol blends can damage engines and cause vehicles that use it to break down, even on vehicles that EPA has approved to use the fuel, according to Coordinating Research Council (CRC) testing.

Several auto manufacturers have said they will not honor warranties when E15 causes damage.

“Ethanol and other renewable fuels play an important role in our transportation fuel mix,” Greco said. “But we cannot allow a mandate for ethanol that exceeds what is safe for consumers. We call upon EPA to immediately finalize the 2013 ethanol mandate and also lower the 2014 ethanol mandate to protect consumers from the introduction of E15.”

Greco said that despite evidence of incompatibility problems with service station equipment and incomplete automobile testing, EPA approved E15 for 2001 model year and newer cars and light trucks. 

The API noted that is part of a broad coalition of food, livestock, consumer, and environmental groups that oppose EPA’s approval of E15.

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