The Environmental Protection Agency barred reporters from a national summit on water contaminants, which was convened Tuesday by EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. Reporters from the AP, CNN, and E&E News were blocked from attending the meeting, and one reporter was shoved from the building.
President Trump "promised to support home-grown biofuels and Administrator (Scott) Pruitt is breaking that promise," said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday following reports the EPA issued a "hardship" waiver exempting an oil refinery owned by billionaire Carl Icahn from complying with the ethanol mandate. The biofuels group Growth Energy said the waiver was "just one more example" of EPA "giving refineries everything they want."
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz appealed to President Trump on Thursday to protect oil refinery jobs by capping the price refiners pay for credits, known as RINs, to comply with the ethanol mandate.
In a letter to President Trump, five Corn Belt senators said on Monday the EPA "is currently undermining your commitment of a 15 billion-gallon RFS." The Republican senators sent the letter on the same day White House officials were scheduled to discuss possible revisions to the ethanol mandate, which requires oil refiners to blend in the corn-based fuel.
Andeavor, one of the largest U.S. oil refining companies, reported $1.5 billion in net profits last year. Yet the EPA gave it a waiver from having to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard, reported Reuters.
The Trump administration improperly and repeatedly delayed the pesticide applicator rule issued by the EPA in early 2017, decided U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, who declared the rule to be in effect.
In a step that overrides an appellate court decision, Congress included a provision in the $1.3 trillion government funding bill that exempts an estimated 200,000 large livestock farms from reporting emissions coming from manure and other animal waste. Hog, cattle and poultry groups said the exemption means farms won't be treated like Superfund sites that create dangerous air pollution.
Last October, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said the agency would investigate whether it has the authority to allow year-round sales of E15, a goal of the ethanol industry. It's still doing the research five months later and may find the answer soon, Pruitt told AgDay TV, when asked about possible changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard.
For nearly a year, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt pushed for a public debate on the science of climate change that would be structured like the "red team-blue team" exercises of the military. White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, squashed the idea as ill-conceived, reports the New York Times.