US oil groups file lawsuits against EPA’s latest renewable fuels mandate

The American Petroleum Institute (API) filed a lawsuit Thursday with the D.C. Circuit Court challenging the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) most recent Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements.  

Specifically, the API says it challenges the agency's failure to meet deadlines for the 2014 to 2017 biomass-based diesel standards and for mandating more cellulosic ethanol in 2016 than even exists. 

“We will continue to shine a light on this outdated and broken mandate and the need for positive change for the American consumer,” said Frank Macchiarola, downstream group director at the API. 

“EPA’s 2016 mandated ethanol volumes push more ethanol into our fuel supply than is safe for the vast majority of cars on the road," he added. "This action could harm consumers who could face higher fuel costs and damaged engines as a result.”

The Congressional Budget Office found that consumers could see rising fuel prices if EPA attempts to force more than 10% ethanol into gasoline, the API said. 

The API requested that EPA set the final ethanol mandate to no more than 9.7% of gasoline demand to help avoid the 10% ethanol blend wall while meeting strong consumer demand for ethanol-free gasoline.

According to automakers and studies by the Coordinating Research Council (here and here), higher ethanol fuels can cause engine and fuel system damage, and automakers have said using higher ethanol blends would void car warranties. 

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) filed a similar lawsuit challenging the RFS earlier this week.

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