ethanol

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge by oil and food industry groups to allow sales of a higher blend of ethanol allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The U.S. ethanol industry, which mostly makes fuel from corn, has pushed for E15, which contains 15 percent ethanol versus the traditional blend containing 10 percent.

It celebrated when the EPA in 2011 expanded use of E15 to cars built since the 2001 model year, which now comprise about two-thirds of the cars on the road in the United States.

But the EPA’s move angered the American Petroleum Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and other industry groups. They filed a petition this year to the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s decision upholding sales of the higher blend.

Ethanol can cut into the profits of gasoline producers, while food groups complain that ethanol use can raise grain and meat prices. They blame ethanol for helping to push corn prices to record levels during last year’s drought, the worst in more than 50 years.