e15 Ethanol warning stickerWhile not the most flashy of lawsuits, the battle over letting E15 (a fuel made up of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) into the national fuel supply just got a lot bigger today. That's because the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers – the trade association that represents 12 major automakers – joined the suit, which was originally brought by the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, according to The Detroit News. The EPA announced in mid-October it was approving E15 for use in model year 2007 and newer vehicles, something the lawsuit claims violates the Clean Air Act because the EPA does not have the power to "approve applications for new fuels and fuel additives" for some vehicles and not others.

The EPA is delaying its official decision on approving E15 for 2001-2006 model year vehicles until early 2011. The Agency is also being sued by the American Petroleum Institute and nine food and farm groups; again because the EPA is running afoul of the Clean Air Act. In response to that lawsuit, EPA Deputy Press Secretary Betsaida Alcantara told Green Car Advisor a while back:
[The] decision was based on strict adherence to the Clean Air Act and was grounded firmly in science. The agency relied on rigorous testing that the Energy Department did on 19 car models, in consultation with automakers and fuel suppliers. This decision is sound, and the agency is confident that it will withstand legal challenge.


[Source: The Detroit News]