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Surpeme Court Won't Hear Outdoor Power Equipment Fuel Case
Jun 25, 2013
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Numerous media outlets are reporting that the United States Supreme Court will not hear a legal challenge to EPA's approval of motor fuel containing 15% ethanol.

The sale of motor fuel with 15% ethanol--E15--was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. While the EPA found E15 safe for vehicles, several industry groups saw significant problems resulting from the change.

In January a court of Appeals in the United States said that certain trade groups did not have the legal ability to challenge the EPA. The Appeals Court decision was then appealed to the Supreme Court, which decided, without comment, to not hear the case.

Among the groups protesting the change was the Outdoor Power Equipment industry (OPEI). OPEI said that the gasoline-fueled lawn mowers and other outdoor power appliances currently in use in the United States were designed, manufactured, and warranted to run on gasoline containing no more than 10% ethanol.

That includes about two hundred million pieces of outdoor power equipment in use by consumers today. These products include chainsaws, lawnmowers, utility vehicles, generators, snow throwers, trimmers, edgers, pruners, chippers, shredders, and blowers.

OPEI issued a consumer advisory in 2010, when the EPA took initial action to approve E15 for sale as a motor fuel. Kris Kiser of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute said at that time: "The Department of Energy's (DOE) own testing has shown that putting anything other than E10 in non-road, small engines can cause performance irregularities and equipment failure."

Kiser said the possible results of putting E15 into a piece of outdoor power equipment not designed for the fuel could include:
* performance irregularities
* increased heat and exhaust temperatures
* failure or unintentional clutch engagement
* permanent damage to the equipment

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