Skip to comments.Oil industry loses legal battle against E15
Posted on 06/24/2013 8:39:21 AM PDT by thackney
The Supreme Court on Monday dealt a big blow to the oil industry, when it decided not to hear a legal challenge against the federal governments decision to approve the sale of fuel containing 15 percent ethanol.
The decision not to hear the case which was issued without comment Monday morning was a defeat for the American Petroleum Institute and several other groups that have been vigorously fighting the Environmental Protection Agencys 2010 approval of the E15 blend. Although the agency green-lighted the sale of E15 for cars and trucks made since 2007, the higher-ethanol blend is not authorized for older vehicles.
After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in January that the API and more than a dozen other groups did not have standing to challenge the EPAs limited approval of E15, the American Petroleum Institute and other organizations appealed to the Supreme Court.
Harry Ng, API vice president and general counsel, called the high courts move a big loss for consumers, for safety and for our environment.
The oil industry argues that E15 has not been proved safe, there are high misfueling risks that could cause filling station owners to face liability when the fuel is inadvertently pumped into older cars and there is a limited market for the mix, especially since some automakers have warned drivers that using the fuel will void their warranty.
Ng said the EPA was irresponsible in approving E15, even though government research showed potential infrastructure concerns at our nations gas stations that could lead to serious safety and environmental problems.
Biofuel backers cheered the decision.
Tom Buis, the CEO of Growth Energy, which originally sought E15′s approval, called the move a true victory for the American biofuels industry as well as consumers, the economy and the environment.
Bob Dinneen, the president of the Renewable Fuels Association, said the Supreme Courts decision ends a long and drawn out petroleum industry effort to derail the commercialization of E15.
But while this legal fight may be over, the industrys larger war against an eight-year-old law mandating the use of more ethanol and other alternative fuels is just beginning. The oil industry is furiously lobbying lawmakers to tinker with the 2005 renewable fuels standard, and, in some cases, repeal it altogether. At the same time, oil companies and industry trade groups are asking the EPA to use its authority to waive some of the requirements.
The Energy and Commerce Committee has begun a broad, bipartisan review of the renewable fuel standard, ahead of possible changes. It is set to hold a hearing on the issue Wednesday afternoon.
Some refiners say they have already reached a so-called blend wall, a threshold where adding the required volume of ethanol to gasoline supplies would result in ethanol blends exceeding the 10 percent cap approved for use in all vehicles. Because the RFS was established with target volumes rather than percentages a recent decline in gasoline use means that blend wall has arrived sooner than expected. The effects are different from some refiners; their individual obligations are determined by their share of the fuel market.
Renewable fuel supporters counter that the mandate was designed to drive innovation in the fuels market and force changes by refiners, automakers and motorists ultimately helping to wean the U.S. off foreign oil in exchange for domestically produced alternatives.
Great now government will destroy your car engine too
My Subaru STI already sees a 5mpg drop on winter blend vs summer blend.
I can’t wait to see how well it runs on 15% ethanol :-(
E10 is already wreaking havoc on my engine.
It’s not uncommon among my Amish neighbors to hitch a Shetland pony to that sort of mower; a somewhat more traditional means by which field crops can be used for transportation fuel.
I am trying to use a couple teenage girls. I use $$$ on my stick instead of carrots.
Looking down the road, there is substantial interest among the engine and automobile companies in the mid-level blends such as E30 or E40 in order to meet future mileage and emissions standards. Ethanol has a lower energy density than gasoline so there is a mileage penalty at a 10 percent blend. But ethanol also has higher octane, and at higher blends this erases the mileage penalty and burns cleaner as well.
The engine manufacturers, including the small engine manufacturers, should have shifted to a flex fuel standard years ago.
“I use $$$ on my stick instead of carrots.”
The jokes write themselves. LOL
Trust me, the amount of $$$ necessary multiplies geometrically as the age of the girls increases.
Not true. When Indy cars switched to pure ethanol, using an engine specifically designed for ethanol, they required larger fuel tanks to keep the same mileage between refueling.
Octane prevents early detonation, it does not provide more energy per gallon, as gasoline versus ethanol does.
Sorry, I mixed up Indy and Nascar.
Indy switched from Methanol to Ethanol, getting more miles to the gallon.
Nascar switched from Gasoline to Ethanol Blend getting less miles to the gallon.
True flex-fuel capability requires electronic fuel injection along with a computer control and related sensors sophisticated enough to adjust fuel injector pulses based on the fuel blend in the tank. Given the limited availability of E85 fuel, the car manufacturers had to be prodded by the government to include the additional hardware (there was little financial incentive to do so).
This sort of fuel system might work on a larger outboard motor as well (those usually have a weather-proof engine cover with enough room for the computer, plumbing and wiring). Smaller outboards, power mowers, string trimmers, chainsaws - none of those are suited to flex-fuel configuration.
Sure, you can build a small engine (or a carbureted car engine) to run very well indeed on E85, but it won't run well on anything else. This push for E15 is a way to force increased use of ethanol as fuel because when given a choice, consumers prefer their ethanol to be aged in oak casks and served neat or over ice.
It would be interesting to see Monsanto’s influence in all this, since they are a major supplier of corn for ethanol.
A lovely solution. Please demonstrate on the 3/4 acre of grass at my two homes in Idaho. I wait until 8:30 PM when the temp drops to 95 degrees at 20% humidity. Plenty of good light left at that hour.
Ethanol has ruined a growing list of products for me:
Weedeater - fuel line disolved
Chain Saw - fuel line disolved twice
Push mower - rubber bladder style carb became dry and ruined
Riding mower - every 2 years, the gasket in the carb disentegrates
Car - fuel line rusted from inside out, near top of engine where it bends to meet fuel rail.
I’ve started using fuel stabilizer specifically meant for ethanol...for my mowers etc. But I can’t afford to put that in my car all the time.
Most cars now have an extensive fuel vapor system, with lots of plastic parts and rubber tubing. I think alot of these will fail...giving check engine codes, and making your car smell like a filling station - but remember, its all to save the environment.
so I guess once it blows up a few engines WE will have standing?
My little spot in Suburbia hell is a tiny lot.
For the retirement property, 60 acres, we use a diesel tractor.
I’m not claiming it is a great thing. I just got so darn tired of fighting engine failures in little engines, I gave up.
On the plus side, the girls no longer can claim they couldn’t start the engine while I was at work.
I have a similar list of small engine problems that are related to E10. Finally, I went and bought some mid-grade gasoline at the local marina (ethanol-free). Now the little clear primer bulbs don’t require replacement every three months.