Oil Industry Groups Challenge Rule Allowing 15% Ethanol Content in Fuel

The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association and two other oil industry groups asked an appeals court to overturn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision allowing the sale of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol.

The groups yesterday asked the federal appeals court in Washington to review whether the EPA’s allowing so-called E-15 fuels violates the Clean Air Act. Last month, automakers filed a separate challenge to the rule with the appeals court.

The EPA on Oct. 13 granted a request from ethanol producers, including Decatur, Illinois-based Archer Daniels Midland Co., to increase concentrations of the corn-based fuel additive in gasoline for vehicles made for 2007 and later. The previous limit was 10 percent.

“One of the major things that concerns us is consumer satisfaction and consumer safety,” Charles Drevna, president of the petrochemical association, said yesterday in an interview. “We shouldn’t even be talking about this until every engine can use this.”

The groups joining the petition are the International Liquid Terminals Association and the Western States Petroleum Association.

Wyn Hornbuckle, a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department, declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

The case is National Petrochemical & Refiners Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 11-1002, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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