e15 Ethanol warning stickerWhile it's certainly not one of the flashiest legal disputes in the automotive industry, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) approval of E15 (a fuel consisting of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) has convinced the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA), along with the International Liquid Terminals Association and the Western States Petroleum Association to file yet another lawsuit with the U.S. Court of Appeals. This time around, the suit seeks to overturn the EPA's approval of E15 in 2001-2006 model year vehicles.

In both lawsuits, the groups claim that the EPA violated the Clean Air Act by approving E15 for use in some vehicles, but not in others. NPRA president, Charles Drevna, issued this statement regarding the lawsuit against the EPA:
This goes beyond the matter of EPA violating federal clean air law by granting partial waivers for E15. EPA's decision to allow E15 in the marketplace before adequate testing has been conducted disregards the safety of consumers. NPRA's members are committed to providing safe, reliable fuels to the American people. We stand behind the products our members provide, including the E10 used safely by millions of consumers throughout the country every day.
More details in the press release pasted after the jump.

[Source: National Petrochemical and Refiners Association]


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Organizations Seek Reversal of EPA's Second Partial Waiver for E15

WASHINGTON – NPRA, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, and two other organizations petitioned a federal court today to overturn a recent decision by the Environmental Protection Agency authorizing a 50 percent increase in the amount of ethanol in gasoline for newer-model vehicles.

EPA's Jan. 21 decision raised the amount of ethanol permitted in gasoline used by cars and light trucks for model years 2001-2006 from 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15).

The lawsuit, filed by NPRA, the International Liquid Terminals Association and the Western States Petroleum Association, follows an ongoing legal challenge by the same organizations of EPA's Oct. 13 decision to allow the use of E15 in vehicles model year 2007 and newer.

In filing both lawsuits with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the groups contend that EPA violated the Clean Air Act by issuing partial waivers that allow the use of E15 in some engines but not others.

NPRA and other organizations have also raised concerns regarding potential engine damage that E15 may cause to passenger vehicles, boats, and outdoor power equipment such as lawnmowers and chain saws.

"This goes beyond the matter of EPA violating federal clean air law by granting partial waivers for E15," NPRA President Charles T. Drevna said. "EPA's decision to allow E15 in the marketplace before adequate testing has been conducted disregards the safety of consumers.

"NPRA's members are committed to providing safe, reliable fuels to the American people," Drevna said. "We stand behind the products our members provide, including the E10 used safely by millions of consumers throughout the country every day.

"In its rush to bring E15 to the marketplace, however, EPA is putting those consumers at risk. The use of E15 in engines that aren't compatible with the higher ethanol blend could leave vehicle and power equipment operators stranded, injured, or worse."

NPRA and the other organizations will file written arguments regarding today's petition in coming weeks.

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NPRA members include more than 450 companies, including virtually all American refiners and petrochemical manufacturers. Our members supply consumers with a wide variety of products and services used daily in their homes and businesses. These products include gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, jet fuel, lubricants and the chemicals that serve as "building blocks" in making everything from plastics to clothing to medicine to computers.