Report Contradicts EPA Chief

Cindy Zimmerman

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and NAFB president Tom Cassidy in April – photo credit Spencer Chase

Yet another revelation in the Environmental Protection Agency small refinery exemption saga came to light this week, thanks to the investigative journalism of Reuters, reporting Tuesday that EPA “consistently ignored recommendations from the Department of Energy (DOE) to reject or limit waivers to oil refiners seeking exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).”

This contradicts what EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been saying for months now in claiming the agency is obligated to give waivers to refiners who meet certain objective criteria. “And oh by the way, DOE is involved in that,” Pruitt said during a meeting with members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in April. “What’s happened historically, that has not worked well, is that DOE and EPA have not been working together collaboratively – we have. We use their data and we make informed decisions based upon their data.”

Listen here: Pruitt defends small refinery exemptions

Pruitt said the same thing when he met with farmers and ethanol producers in the Midwest earlier this month, leaving many now questioning his credibility.

“Administrator Pruitt just finished telling crowds of struggling farmers that the massive increase in EPA handouts wasn’t driven by his loyalty to a few wealthy refiners,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “In fact, those waivers are at odds with everything we hear from the Department of Agriculture, President Trump, and now the Department of Energy.”

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says, “Administrator Pruitt’s … less than truthful answer to farmers in South Dakota blaming the DOE for requiring EPA to hand out waivers like candy is the last straw. Disagreeing is one thing — lying to cover up something you did that impacts rural families’ livelihoods is another.”

Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dinneen says Pruitt is “ignoring the Department of Energy, just as he’s ignoring the President of the United States – he doesn’t care.”

ACE, Audio, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Growth Energy, RFA, RFS