Farmers at odds with EPA chief over bio-fuels

Pablo Tucker
June 16, 2018

Kansas' ethanol stakeholders participated in discussions with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt at East Kansas Agri-Energy, LLC on Tuesday morning to review the current state of the ethanol industry and how EPA decisions are impacting Kansas farmers and ethanol processors.

After touring a farm operated by Adam Schindler and his family in Reliance, Pruitt addressed a group of about 50 farmers and other people with interests in agriculture in a building on the Schindler property.

Inhofe's comments are among signs that some conservatives may be losing confidence in Pruitt, Oklahoma's former attorney general.

The EPA typically does not disclose Pruitt's whereabouts, and did not publicize Pruitt's trip to South Dakota on Wednesday until a tweet from shortly after 3 p.m. from Pruitt's official account.


Virginia Canter of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a public watchdog in Washington, told the Post that Pruitt using a full-time EPA employee as a "headhunter for his spouse" is "highly inappropriate". But the president also said Pruitt isn't "blameless" for his many ethics controversies.

"Two of these companies that they handed waivers to made over a billion dollars previous year", farmer David Fremark said. The individuals said he enlisted Samantha Dravis, then serving as associate administrator for the EPA's Office of Policy, to line up work for his wife.

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, chair of the Senate environment committee that has oversight of the EPA, said that he plans to call Pruitt to testify before his panel about his scandals later this year, his spokesman Mike Danylak said.

"I've said there are a lot of things that he has done - I know him very well - some are not characteristic of him at all", Inhofe said. "So that's what we've seen, is a spike in applications".


"It's important to hear directly from the community that EPA regulates, and today we heard from farmers and utility workers about the impact of the Agency's work", Pruitt said in a statement.

Leo is a prominent Pruitt backer and longtime friend who was involved in arrangements for the administrator's visit to Italy previous year.

Several farmers were not satisfied with this explanation, and one suggested that if the formulas used by the DOE were hurting farmers, maybe those formulas should be revisited. He specifically cited President Donald Trump's repeated promises to both continue the Renewable Fuel Standard and to make E15 fuel available year-round.


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