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Ethanol supporters say "good riddance" to Scott Pruitt

EPA administrator meets with ag groups at Lincoln roundtable (NTV News)

Many farmers are not sorry to see Scott Pruitt go, whom they fault for not doing more to support ethanol.

"Good riddance," tweeted the head of the Renewable Fuels Association, a pro-ethanol group.

Bob Dinneen said the EPA has been "undermined by an unmistakable anti-ethanol, anti-farmer bias.”

"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. So, that sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief coming from the Midwest," said Dinneen, head of the Renewable Fuels Association.

Gov. Pete Ricketts, a vocal supporter of ethanol said, "Administrator Pruitt made positive contributions on cutting red tape at the EPA. I encourage President Trump to appoint a new EPA chief that will quickly act on E-15 and ensure we keep a robust RFS.”

Scott Pruitt recently visited Nebraska, where Galen Frenzen of the Nebraska Cattlemen had a chance to meet with him. Frenzen is a past member of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. He spokes to NTV as an individual farmer and rancher.

Frenzen said, "Pruitt was catching a lot of hell because he wasn't supporting E15 and we went into the meeting in Lincoln three weeks expecting a real donnybrook fight in regards to E15 year-round and one of the first things he said at that meeting was 'I'm in favor of E15' and man, everybody swallowed. They couldn't believe it. What a lot of us were expecting to be a nasty fight, turned out to a cordial event. I'm not a political person and this whole political deal drives me fits," said Frenzen.

Troy Bredenkamp, Executive Director of Renewable Fuels Nebraska, urged the EPA to lift rules that keep higher ethanol blends from being sold in summer months.

“With Administrator Pruitt’s departure, it is time for the EPA to stop dragging their feet on a simple regulatory change that could benefit motorists in 30 states, where E15 is a popular option during the spring, winter, and fall,” said Bredenkamp. “The President and USDA Secretary Perdue want a solution to surging gas prices and E15 can play a large role. We look forward to working with Interim Administrator Wheeler to make that happen.”

The call to action by Renewable Fuels Nebraska echoes comments from over 100 business and farm leaders across seven Midwest states, who wrote to federal regulators last month demanding action on E15. The letters were organized by Growth Energy, a leading trade association of America’s biofuel producers and supporters.

“Mile after mile, motorists are paying a premium, just so a few oil companies don’t have to compete against American farmers in the energy market,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “President Trump promised Midwest lawmakers a fix, and it’s time for the EPA to act. There’s no reason to cut off millions of drivers from a lower-cost fuel that supports farmers and rural manufacturing.”


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