American Petroleum Institute v. Cooper, III, No. 12-1078 (4th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
This case involved two common methods employed to blend ethanol with conventional gasoline: inline blending and splash blending. Plaintiffs, API and AFPMA, brought federal preemption-based challenges in the district court seeking to enjoin enforcement of North Carolina's Ethanol Blending Statute, N.C. Gen. Stat. 75-90. Although the court agreed with the district court insofar as it rejected plaintiffs' Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (PMPA), 15 U.S.C. 2801-2841, and federal renewable fuel program preemption challenges, the court held that genuine issues of material fact remained unresolved as to plaintiffs' Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1051-1113, preemption challenge to the Blending Statute. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings.