The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency Republicans desperately want to rein in after what they charge was eight years of dangerous activism under the Obama administration that hurt farmers, businesses, and the economy. Pruitt maybe just the person to do it. As Oklahoma attorney general, he sued the agency many times in that pursuit and has vowed to curb the EPA’s regulatory reach once in office. Agricultural and ethanol groups generally supported Pruitt to head the agency.
Brian Jennings, the Executive Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), issued the following statement after the confirmation vote: “We congratulate Mr. Pruitt on his confirmation and are eager to work with him to help EPA keep the promises that President Trump made about ethanol during the campaign. EPA and oil company restrictions on the use of higher ethanol blends the last few years have created surplus stocks of corn and put pressure on prices and rural economies. According to USDA, net farm income has dropped from $123.7 billion in 2013 to $66.9 billion in 2016 — a decrease of 46 percent. From 2015 to 2016 alone, net farm income dropped 17.2 percent. It is imperative that Administrator Pruitt work to help ensure the successful implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard to drive the use of higher ethanol blends, to maintain the RFS point-of-obligation with refiners and importers, and to lift unnecessary restrictions on ethanol use such as the Reid vapor pressure limit. Taking these steps will prevent further harm to rural economies in key states that supported President Trump because of his promises to create jobs and strengthen the U.S. economy.”
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen said in a statement: “The Renewable Fuels Association congratulates Scott Pruitt on Senate confirmation to become the next EPA administrator. As Mr. Pruitt said during his confirmation hearing last month, ‘To honor the intent and the expression of the Renewable Fuel Standard statute is very, very important.’ We could not agree more. We look forward to working with Mr. Pruitt to ensure the RFS remains on track with strong, annual obligations that follow congressional intent. While the RFS remains our priority, we will also continue advocating for the removal of unnecessary volatility restrictions that have discouraged market acceptance of higher level ethanol blends like E15. Ethanol is the lowest cost, cleanest and highest octane source in the world. We encourage Mr. Pruitt to work with us to ensure consumers have more choices at the pump.”
Zippy Duvall, president, American Farm Bureau Federation:
“Scott Pruitt’s confirmation to lead the Environmental Protection Agency will bring a breath of fresh air to the post. America’s farmers and ranchers look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt as he leads the EPA with a welcome level of common sense in the important job of protecting the environment.
“For too long, farmers and ranchers have been victims of EPA’s harsh regulatory overreach. Farmers are conservationists to the core and we want to play a positive, cooperative role in protecting the environment we rely on to produce food for this nation.
“In his position as attorney general in Oklahoma, Pruitt stood up for common-sense, effective regulation that protects the environment and the rights of the regulated community. We’re optimistic that he will retain those same values as administrator and we look forward to working with him. But what we truly look forward to is working with someone at EPA who understands how farmers and ranchers care for our nation’s natural resources each and every day.”
Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Scott Pruitt to be the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) –
“For far too long, the EPA has been a runaway bureaucracy largely out of touch with how its policies directly affect folks like cattle ranchers, who use – and responsibly care for – the environment while providing the safest and most abundant food supply in the world. Scott Pruitt will restore some common sense to environmental policy and we look forward to working with him on restoring regulatory sanity to Washington, such as by killing the onerous ‘waters of the United States’ rule.”