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Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20230
Nos. 11-1334, (D.C. Cir., 10/21/2014)

The D.C. Circuit dismissed automobile industry groups' petition challenging an EPA rule intended to mitigate the misfueling of vehicles and engines with gasoline containing greater than 10% ethanol (E10). Among other measures, the rule prohibits the use of E10 gasoline in certain vehicles, engines, and equipment, and it requires warning labels to be placed on fuel dispensers selling gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E15). The groups challenged the rule's failure to mandate the continued sale of E10 in order to ensure that their members' customers do not misfuel the members’ products with E15. The groups, however, cannot show that their members have suffered or are threatened with suffering an injury in fact that is traceable to the regulation and redressable by a favorable decision. The groups argued that because their members are the object of the regulation, which directly imposes regulatory restrictions, costs, and liabilities on persons or firms that sell E15, their standing is self-evident. But they provided no evidence that any of their members sells or plans to sell E15. The groups also argued that because E15 will damage products for which E10 is suitable but E15 is not, sales of E15 in compliance with the regulation will expose their members to warranty claims, product liability lawsuits, recalls, and reputational injury. But the groups failed to offer evidence connecting sales of E15 under the regulation to injuries that their members are sufficiently likely to suffer. Nor have the groups provided any evidence that E15 has displaced or is likely to displace E10 in such a way as to drive consumers to use E15 for want of adequate E10 supplies. The groups, therefore, lack standing, and the petition was dismissed.