Washington DC – Today, Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) released the following statement after this morning’s U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruling on E15:  

“I am disappointed that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today, on purely jurisdictional grounds, dismissed a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s partial Clean Air Act waivers for mid-level ethanol blends.  The ruling occurred despite the fact that two of the three judges found the petitioners had standing under Article III of the Constitution, and despite the Agency’s failure to argue against standing in its own arguments. The majority opinion appears to ignore the near-universal agreement among automakers and engine manufacturers that these waivers will result in damaged engines and voided warranties. I agree with the dissenting opinion of Judge Kavanaugh, which concluded that ‘EPA’s E15 waiver is flatly contrary to the plain text of the statute.’ 

EPA's decision to grant a waiver to allow E15 in the marketplace was based on limited scientific analysis and testing.  H.R. 3199, bipartisan legislation endorsed by the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology earlier this year, would have required a more robust assessment of the state of the science on mid-level ethanol blends, a process that should have been undertaken by the waiver applicants and EPA prior to the Agency’s issuance of waivers for E15.  Instead, the Agency relied on a single test program conducted by the Department of Energy.  More recent evidence suggests serious and legitimate concerns about E15's impacts on engine durability, and even EPA has flagged the risk of widespread misfueling for hundreds of millions of vehicles and engines currently in use.  In light of elevated food prices amidst widespread drought conditions, the continued pursuit of greater volumes of corn ethanol in our fuel supply should be re-examined closely. “