The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed challenges by meat industry groups to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule exempting some ethanol producers from a rule requiring them to demonstrate that their fuels had 20 percent fewer lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG ) emissions than comparable petroleum fuels. Nat’l Chicken Council v. EPA, No. 10-1107 (D.C. Cir. 7/20/12). Petitioners argued that they were harmed by the rule because it would divert more corn to ethanol production, thereby escalating the price of animal feed.  

The court’s three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the meat industry petitioners had “fallen short” of demonstrating they had legal standing to bring the lawsuit. According to the court, petitioners failed to demonstrate that EPA’s rule would cause (i) qualifying ethanol plants to produce more ethanol than they would otherwise; (ii) an increase in overall corn demand; and (iii) an increase in the price of corn, thereby injuring petitioner’s members.