EPA chief was no friend to farmers

News

July 18, 2018 - 11:00 PM

The latest resignation of a Trump administration official was good news in farm country.

Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency chief until he stepped down early this month, understandably drew the ire of farmers in Kansas and beyond with his attack on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a federal mandate that requires ethanol and biodiesel to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply. Pruitt led deliberate efforts to undermine ethanol as the EPA granted an unprecedented 1.6 billion gallons in waivers aiding oil producers. Many oil refineries were exempted from complying with the RFS, to include some making huge profits that received the equivalent of a massive government handout through the waivers.

The moves hurt farmers who grow corn and other grains used in ethanol production, with an estimated economic impact of billions of dollars in lost markets for ethanol and corn.

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