Ag reacts to Scott Pruitt’s confirmation as EPA chief
Two Democrats have voted with Republicans to confirm the nomination of Scott Pruitt as the nation’s new EPA Administrator. Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, both from energy-producing states, voted in favor along with all Republicans but one; Susan Collins of Maine, who voted against him.
Ranking Senate Ag Committee leader Debbie Stabenow of Michigan says she voted against the former Oklahoma Attorney General because she’s concerned with the direction EPA could take under his leadership with his long history of opposing federal environmental programs as well as the Renewable Fuel Standard, “The President promised us a farmer-friendly EPA and yet his nominee to lead the agency wants to dismantle one of the most successful drivers in rural America,” Stabenow says. Opponents of Pruitt are also concerned by his past record of supporting energy, oil and gas businesses.
The Renewable Fuels Association and the American Coalition for Ethanol say they look forward to working with Pruitt – to keep the Renewable Fuels Standard in place and to remove volatility restrictions that have discouraged market acceptance of higher level ethanol blends like E15.
CropLife America says the EPA needs an effective leader like Pruitt who is – in their words, “unswayed by the whims of unscientific fear campaigns.”
The National Pork Producers Council says the former Oklahoma Attorney General has demonstrated that he knows how to strike a balance between protecting the environment and protecting the livelihoods of farmers and business owners.