U.S. Supreme Court leaves in place limits on higher-ethanol fuel blend

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court during morning hours on Capitol Hill in Washington

By Stephanie Kelly

– The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away an industry group’s bid to revive a decision made by the Environmental Protection Agency under former President Donald Trump to allow expanded sales of gasoline that has a higher ethanol blend, called E15.

The action by the justices dealt a blow to the ethanol industry, which wants to increase sales and access to E15. Growth Energy, a biofuels industry group that had filed a petition asking the justices to review a lower court’s ruling vacating the Trump administration E15 policy, expressed disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision.

“Growth Energy will continue to explore all potential avenues to make unfettered access to E15 a reality,” Emily Skor, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The EPA in 2019 extended a waiver that allowed year-round sales of E15, effectively lifting summertime restrictions. Ruling in a lawsuit brought by an oil refining trade group challenging the policy, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last year decided that the agency had exceeded its authority.

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(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)