The court backed a 2-1 decision made last August that said claims from groups like the American Petroleum Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association were "speculative." Naturally, ethanol advocacy group Growth Energy called the decision "a major victory" while opponents, including the American Automobile Association, weren't as sanguine.
Last June, the Environmental Protection Agency allowed public sales of E15 as a way to help cut foreign-oil dependency. Since then, the debate over whether higher ethanol production and use does more good or harm to the environment has intensified, as opponents say higher ethanol blends may both damage engines and trigger food price spikes and shortages. Late last year, AAA went as far as to publicly request that the government suspend E15 sales, an idea that has spread to Maine. Earlier this week, the AAA reiterated its stance that E15 sales should be withheld until more research is done, since the group worries that engines may be damaged and vehicle warranties voided by the biofuels.