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Ernst says she’ll block EPA nominee over ‘gap year’ waivers

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says she is going to hold up the nomination of Doug Benevento to be deputy administrator of EPA until the agency says what it plans to do with the so-called “gap year” waivers to the RFS.

Ernst says ethanol and biodiesel producers “are sick of being yanked around” by the EPA and administrator Andrew Wheeler.  She says until the agency provides some certainty on the waivers, no EPA nominee will be getting her vote.

Ernst is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Without her vote, Benevento’s nomination is unlikely to advance to the floor.

Ernst recently joined 15 other senators in a letter to Wheeler, urging him to reject 52 gap year small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions filed by oil companies that are trying to circumvent a Tenth Circuit Court ruling from January.

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