An attempt to block the sale of E15 blended petrol in the US has been quashed by the Supreme Court.

The court rejected a challenge by the American Petroleum Institute (API), food producers and restaurants, which contended that the blend could harm cars and motorcycles built before 2001, and push up food prices, imposing an unnecessary economic burden on consumers.

Bob Greco, API group director, downstream and industry operations, told the court: “We’re at the point where refiners are being pressured to put unsafe levels of ethanol in gasoline, which could damage vehicles, harm consumers and wreak havoc on our economy.”

But the court left in place a federal appeals court ruling that dismissed all challenges.

E15 is currently sold at 20 petrol stations in the Midwest but this decision means it can go nationwide and replace E10 if market demand is there.

“Now this final word has been issued, I hope oil companies will begin to work with biofuel producers to help bring new blends into the marketplace that allow for consumer choice and savings,” said Tom Buis, CEO of ethanol industry group Growth Energy.

But the American Automobile Association said sales of E15 should be halted to allow for additional testing and agreement between car manufacturers and ethanol producers as to which vehicles can safely use the fuel.