Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Farmer, ethanol producers rally during EPA chief's visit

Farmer, ethanol producers rally during EPA chief's visit

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt got a rough reception in South Dakota from farmers and ethanol producers who accused of him of undermining the industry.

About 200 people rallied in Sioux Falls on Wednesday, urging Pruitt to support federal ethanol mandates, the Argus Leader reported.

At the East Kansas Agri-Energy ethanol plant in Garnett, Kansas, Pruitt sat down with a roomful of farmers and ethanol supporters who told him they were "mad as hell" about EPA efforts they believe undermine the RFS law.

An early backer of Pruitt's, Inhofe noted in his interview with Ingraham that EPA Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who was recently confirmed by the Senate, was fully qualified to carry out President Trump's agenda. The Daily Republic newspaper in Mitchell arrived on site early Wednesday and was told it could not enter the event, but EPA officials later changed course and allowed a reporter inside the building where the discussion was taking place.

"As I came to South Dakota, there were a few billboards greeting me, and they didn't say 'I hope you're having fun, '" Pruitt said. However, South Dakota Corn Growers Association Executive Director Lisa Richardson says President Trump promised to provide the pathway for year-round sales of E15 and Pruitt is not welcome in the state unless he is delivering on that promise.

"It's above and beyond anything I'm aware of, with respect to any government employee, " she said, with the fact that Leo accompanied Pruitt on the trip to Italy making the situation even more problematic.

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The moves increase the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. "The Chinese side firmly opposes that", it said. Among the affected $16 billion in US goods include crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

Leo is a prominent Pruitt backer and longtime friend who was involved in arrangements for the administrator's visit to Italy previous year. The EPA head said petitions have been lodged asking the agency to revisit the finding, calling its passage in 2009 a "breach of process".

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said on Twitter that she supported Inhofe's call for a review of Pruitt by Congress and suggested President Donald Trump review Pruitt's conduct as well. "So that's what we've seen, is a spike in applications".

Asked about the matter Tuesday, EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement, "I would refer you to outside counsel".

"A spike? That's more than a spike". The renewable fuel standards have for years been essential to driving ethanol production.

Those ads reportedly were set to air in South Dakota and Nebraska, both of which were states Pruitt was reportedly set to visit this week, according to The Washington Post.

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