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Supreme Court rejects challenge to E15

The Supreme Court today rejected challenges to Environmental Protection Agency decisions allowing an increase in ethanol content in gasoline, a decision that was hailed by renewable fuels industry leaders.

The justices on Monday left in place without comment a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last August that threw out the legal challenges raised by the oil industry and food groups.

The high court's decision won’t have an immediate impact on the U.S. gasoline market because most filling stations still don’t offer E15, but “the decision effectively kills the legal challenges to E15, which is the ethanol industry’s main hope for growth beyond its current 10 percent share of the gasoline market,” Dow Jones said in an article today.

“Today is a true victory for the American biofuels industry,” Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said in a statement. “Time and again Big Oil has challenged E15 and Growth Energy’s Green Jobs Waiver in attempts to deny consumers a choice and savings at the pump and today marks the end of these baseless challenges.”

“The highest court in the land has spoken – they have unequivocally rejected the attempts of Big Oil and other opponents of ethanol to challenge the EPA’s sensible decision to permit the sale of E15,” Buis added. “Now that the final word has been issued, I hope that oil companies will begin to work with biofuel producers to help bring new blends into the marketplace that allow for consumer choice and savings.”

“This was not just a victory for consumers, but also for America’s energy security, economy and environment,” Buis continued. “As our industry continues to produce homegrown American fuels that reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we will also continue to create jobs that cannot be outsourced and drive research and investment, all while improving our environment and the quality of the air we breathe with a cleaner, sustainable fuel.”

Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen also expressed pleasure with the ruling, saying that it “ends a long and drawn out petroleum industry effort to derail the commercialization of E15.”

“The uncertainty created by this lawsuit has chilled commercial activity that would provide American consumers more affordable choices at the pump,” Dinneen said. “With this decision, E15 can finally become a meaningful option for more Americans.”