Pruitt Out at EPA
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, has resigned.
President Donald Trump announced Pruitt’s resignation Thursday.
Midwest agricultural groups are responding with a sigh of relief, due to Pruitt’s yearlong battle with the the ethanol industry.
Farm and Biofuel Industry Reacts
Shortly after the news broke several farm and biofuel leaders spoke out.
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen says that for the past year, Scott Pruitt had been waging war against the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the biofuels industry, and the millions of farmers and rural Americans who helped Donald Trump get elected.
“It appears these missteps finally caught up with Mr. Pruitt, who apparently thought that RFS stood for ‘Refinery First Strategy.’ Mr. Pruitt’s failure to follow President Trump’s directive to remove the red tape that restricts E15 from being sold in the summertime likely played a part in his demise, and the straw that broke the camel’s back may have been Mr. Pruitt’s recent proposal for 2019 RFS requirements that failed miserably to repair damages done to our nation’s farmers and biofuel producers,” Dineen stated in a press release Thursday.
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor echoed, "Administrator Pruitt’s tenure as administrator of the EPA put a heavy strain on this administration’s relationship with supporters, farmers, and biofuel producers across the heartland. We urge the EPA under the new leadership of acting Administrator Wheeler to reinforce those bonds and work as a partner to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the White House in efforts to revitalize rural communities and unleash American biofuels. He can start today by reversing the demand destruction caused by EPA waivers, acting on the president’s pledge to unlock E15, and upholding a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).”
Kevin Skunes farms corn and soybeans near Arthur, North Dakota and is currently serving as president of the National Corn Growers Association. In a press statement Thursday he said, "It’s no secret corn farmers have been frustrated with Scott Pruitt’s ongoing actions over the past year that have seriously undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Even with this leadership change at the EPA, our priorities do not change. We will continue to push the EPA to stop granting unjustified RFS waivers. We expect the EPA to account for the more than 1.6 billion gallons the agency waived from 2016 and 2017 RFS obligations, and we will continue ask EPA to follow through on the president’s commitment to remove outdated regulations to allow higher blends of ethanol like E15 to be sold year-round. We are hopeful Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler will work with America’s corn farmers to give consumers more options at the pump to save them money and reduce emissions and provide farmers with certainty in the marketplace that comes with RFS integrity.”
Scott Irwin, University of Illinois eonomist, tweeted on his Twitter account @ScottIrwinUI that it will be interesting to see what happens going forward with the new EPA leader Andrew Wheeler on the RFS.
The tweet read, "Scott Pruitt is out at the EPA. Wonder if this will result in any change in combativeness vis-a-vis the RFS?"
Shortly after the news broke several farm and biofuel leaders voiced their reactions.
For more details read Deregulator Pruitt Resigns at EPA, Undermined RFS.