The Engine Products Group — which consists of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance), The Association of Global Automakers, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), and the National Marine Manufacturers Association — filed a petition for certiorari on March 25, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ August 2012 decision that none of the trade associations or parties had standing in the case. The group is challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to grant partial waivers approving the sale of gasoline containing 15-percent ethanol (E-15) for Model Year 2001-and-newer passenger cars and light trucks. The Court of Appeals dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction in August 2012.
The petition asks the Supreme Court to accept the case for review. If the Supreme Court accepts the case, the parties will then ask that court to reverse the Court of Appeal’s ruling and find the parties have the right to challenge EPA’s partial waiver decisions that allow the sale of E-15 for some passenger cars and light trucks, but not for older vehicles and not for use in motorcycles, boats and off-road engines.
The greatest concern of the automakers continues to be customers. It is critical that consumers have a positive experience with renewable fuels, which are an important component of our national energy security. It is not in the longer-term interest of consumers, the government, and all parties involved to discover, after the fact, that equipment or performance problems are occurring because a new fuel was rushed into the national marketplace.
Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI, issued the following statement: “OPEI, as part of the Engine Products Group, has filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ claim that we did not have standing to challenge the EPA on a partial waiver for E-15. This appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court reflects the seriousness of this issue for the outdoor power equipment and small-engine industry. We feel strongly that this challenge to the E-15 partial waiver needs to be considered on its merits, and not held back on a procedural issue. We will push on to protect our consumers from the engine failure and product harm that comes from mis-fueling with E-15.”
Growth Energy, an ethanol industry trade group, petitioned the EPA in March 2009 to raise the limit on ethanol in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. Several engine and auto manufacturers, as well as others urged EPA to be deliberative in its review process, assuring thorough and adequate testing to ensure that E-15 would not harm existing products or pose safety risks. By approving E-15 use in a small subset of engines on the road, it is expected that the fuel will be used in products not designed for its use and for which E-15 has not been specifically approved.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) is a trade association of 12 car and light truck manufacturers, including BMW Group, Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda North America, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche Cars North America, Toyota Motors North America, Inc., Volkswagen Group of America and Volvo Cars North America. For more information, visit www.autoalliance.org.