Appeals court dismisses E15 challenge

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association is disappointed by a federal appeals court’s decision to dismiss a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to allow E15 into the fuel supply and is evaluating litigation options.

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dismissed on procedural grounds the recreational boating industry’s challenge of the EPA’s decision to allow gasoline with 15 percent ethanol into the fuel supply, according to the NMMA.

The Engine Products Group, a coalition of organizations that includes the NMMA, sought to block the EPA decision, which puts the potentially dangerous E15 at gas pumps across the country.

Late in 2011, the EPA approved E15 for a subset of on-highway motor vehicles. Earlier that year the EPA approved E15 for model year 2007 and newer vehicles as part of its response to a waiver petition filed in the spring of 2009 by pro-ethanol lobby group Growth Energy.

The NMMA said that although the decision was a setback, it does not speak to the underlying merits of the case — whether the EPA was correct in its interpretation of the Clean Air Act to allow for a partial waiver. In his dissent, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who presided over the case, found that “EPA ran roughshod over the relative statutory limits” and is “flatly contrary to the plain text of the statute,” according to a statement.

The NMMA said it is confident that if the court ruled on the merits of the case it would find that the EPA overstepped its authority for a partial waiver of E15. For that reason, the NMMA is evaluating its litigation options.

The partial waiver excluded marine engines and other non-road engines, such as snowmobiles and lawn and garden equipment. The NMMA has been concerned that the waiver will lead to widespread misfueling by consumers.

Recently, at its own cost, the NMMA distributed labels for the marine industry to warn against fueling marine engines with E15.

“NMMA will continue to evaluate and address policy to protect boaters from misfueling and product failures associated with incompatible fuels and will take the necessary actions to ensure compatible fuels remain available and affordable,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in the statement. “EPA has failed in each regard and approved E15 in violation of its clear statutory requirements.”

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2 comments on “Appeals court dismisses E15 challenge

  1. Bobby Fontaine

    I wrote the ethanol article below. You are free to edit and publish it however you wish

    For the Ethanol Mandate, the Real Issue is Speculators
    by Bobby Fontaine

    The problem is not so much grain supplies but the prices going so high that third world countries and the food relief organizations that support them can’t afford to feed their people anymore. This leads to political unrest and death all over the world, like last years “Arab Spring” being a direct result of rising grain prices caused by federal ethanol mandates. Ethanol supporters can defend high grain prices by showing that ever since ethanol has placed higher demands on corn markets, more corn has been grown to meet it. That however doesn’t change the fact that the reason grain prices are so high even though there is ample supply is speculators. And the only reason speculators feel confident enough to risk billions of dollars to drive up grain prices is because federal biofuel mandates insure higher than normal demand on corn, and soybean for biodiesel.

    Higher demand for soy and corn, along with being able to sell it for higher prices, causes farmers to choose to grow them over other crops, which puts pressure on the supply side for all related food markets, including meat producers who use grain for animal feed. This gives speculators a field day of betting that all commodities markets will rise. This in turn forces the cost of everything we eat to unrealistically high levels. But since we have such a strong economy, we won’t starve. This however does keep us from being able to make our economy stronger, which is causing a lot of people to become unemployed and stay that way. In third world countries, higher grain prices means they don’t eat, which in the long run, the unrest that follows costs us greatly, to say nothing of the humanitarian aspect of what we’re doing to them.

    No reason for starvation

    What I’m saying is we will have enough grain to supply all the markets in need, hopefully with next year bringing in a better crop so we can re- supply depleted stores. But speculators are forcing prices up to unrealistic levels so we can no longer afford to buy them without a great deal of pain. This way they make money at everyone’s else’s expense, including their own since they are human beings and will suffer through whatever they cause for the rest of us. This is to say nothing of the fact that they will also have to help pay to clean up after the problems they cause through taxes and straining the economy further, perhaps beyond repair. And the only reason they are able to do this is because they know which way the markets are pointing as long as we have mandates that insure prices will keep rising.

    Federal laws that require ethanol and biodiesel be used as fuel forces such a large shift in the direction of grain markets, and subsequently all food markets, that speculators can easily see what no one is supposed to be smart enough to see, which is the direction commodities markets will head. Do you remember the story about how Hillary Clinton, who had no experience in commodities, turned a $1000 into an easy $100,000 through a series of cattle futures trades? There was an outcry of foul play over her easy money making adventure because that’s just not the way commodities work, not even for people who are experts in a particular commodity.

    Predictable markets are broken markets

    There have always been speculators in commodities but they don’t make a lot of money at it because they are so unpredictable. The people commodities futures were designed for are actually involved in the production and or sales of a particular commodity and use derivatives contracts as a hedge against “future” losses. If a farmer grows corn hoping the price will be within a certain range at harvest time so he can’t pay off his debtors and turn a profit, he may place a bet that the price will drop. This way if it does, his winnings from the derivative contract will cover the loss he took on his actual crop. But with federal mandates forcing grain prices to keep rising, it attracts billions of extra dollars into commodities markets from hedge funds and big banks who have nothing to do with production and sales in those markets. This causes prices to skyrocket to unrealistic highs. So if they drop the biofuel mandate, speculators will be forced out of grain markets so prices can drop back to realistic levels, which will be higher than before the ethanol mandate went into effect, but nowhere near as high as they are now.

    No change without ending mandates

    This is what happens when governments start messing with free markets. Commodity markets are never supposed to be a sure thing, that’s why they exist, to bring stability to unpredictable markets. Thy work until the government steps in and makes them so predictable that people who have no interest in a particular market can see clearly where it is going and invest billions to insure that it does. This distorts market prices beyond the normal dictates of supply and demand in the effected markets. You can argue until the cows come home about every other aspect of this debate. But nothing will change unless the EPA mandate is dropped

  2. john ennis

    Well said and needs wider distribution. In this day and age of the dumbing down of America thru education by sound bites on major issues..surveys show millions of citizens can tell you who is screwing who in the entertainment world but can’t name their local of national representatives. When something hits them in the pocket book their reply is often “someone should have warned us” That someone is them.

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