D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses EPA final rule allowing year-round E15
A Washington D.C. appeals court has reversed EPA’s 2019 rule that allowed for year-round sales of E15.
Prior to the agency’s final rule to extend the Reid Vapor Pressure volatility waiver to fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol, E15 sales were prohibited from June to September. Oil refiners challenged the rulemaking.
The Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, and National Corn Growers in a joint statement disagreed with the court’s decision, saying it could deprive American drivers of lower carbon options at the pump.
Meanwhile, RFA CEO Geoff Cooper does not expect Friday’s ruling to have an immediate impact.
Geoff Cooper tells Brownfield EPA will probably come out with a policy statement in the days or weeks ahead clarifying the agency’s interpretation of the circuit court decision.
“And if EPA decides to appeal this to the Supreme Court, or if other parties including RFA might decide to appeal this to the Supreme Court, then the agency may elect to delay making any regulatory changes until that appeals process is complete.”
He says refining interests are suggesting EPA’s rule allowing for year-round E15 has been immediately vacated by the court.
“Meaning retailers have to stop selling E15 immediately, and we don’t see it that way.”
Cooper says while it could take weeks or months to implement Friday’s court decision, it is another gut punch for the biofuels industry following the recent Supreme Court ruling on small refinery exemptions.