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Posted on  

August 14, 2001


Action Delays In-State Ethanol Production and Injects Uncertainty in the Market Place

The State of California filed suit in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday seeking to force the U.S. EPA to reverse its recent decision upholding the Clean Air Act oxygen standard. The lawsuit was filed on the final day allowed to challenge the agency action.

Bob Dinneen, president of the RFA, made the following statement:

"California's court challenge of the EPA decision to maintain the Clean Air Act oxygen standard is an exercise in futility. The forces attempting to undermine the oxygen standard lost with the Clinton EPA, lost with the Bush EPA, lost in the Congress, and will now lose in federal court. No amount of posturing and rhetoric can change the fact that the science supports maintaining the oxygen standard.

"The decision to file this lawsuit was based on state politics, not its legal or technical merits. With this lawsuit, the state of California is asking the court to overturn the technical and scientific conclusions of EPA experts. That is something courts have almost never done. This lawsuit will only discourage the very real opportunities for ethanol production within California and inject further uncertainty into the marketplace that hurts California consumers.

"Unfortunately, according to some news reports, California's ongoing effort to remove the oxygen standard has resulted in some gasoline refiners putting off the necessary changes needed to stop the use of MTBE in California gasoline. This is a travesty for California drinking water and consumers. The ethanol industry will continue its record-setting expansion and will be ready on December 31, 2002 to meet California's oxygen demand. We hope that state officials and the oil industry will be ready as well."



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