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E-15 Gasoline Burning Out?

E15 is a mixture of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, which has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for model year 2001 and later cars and light trucks. However, if used in small engine equipment like chainsaws or boats, E15 can damage engines or eventually cause them to fail, and possibly void warranties. To protect small engine manufacturers, the Engine Products Group has continuously countered the EPA's effort to distribute E15.

The battle over distributing E15 fuel began in October 2010, when the EPA ruled that a fuel or fuel additive manufacturer could sell E15 after the manufacturer registered E15 and met the conditions of the partial wavers.

In September 2011, members of the Engine Products Group (EPG), which includes the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Global Automakers, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association filed a formal legal challenge to EPA's E15 partial waiver decision, but the Court of Appeals dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction in August 2012.

The newest challenge to the EPA's E15 ruling, again filed by the EPG, is a petition for certiorari, which would allow the Supreme Court to review the lower court's judgment for legal error if granted.

If the Supreme Court accepts the case, the parties will have standing to challenge EPA's partial waiver decisions that allow sale of E15 for some passenger cars and light trucks, but not older vehicles, motorcycles, boats and off road engines. EPG plans to ultimately ask the court for a reversal of the Court of Appeal's ruling.

"This appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court reflects the seriousness of this issue for the outdoor power equipment and small engine industry," OPEI president Kris Kiser said in a statement. "We feel strongly that this challenge to the E15 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 E15."

For more information about the E15 ruling, please check back. To learn more about E15, please visit

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November 18, 2019, 10:33 am PDT

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