July 9, 2018
By Ryan Matheny
Members of Iowa's Congressional delegation are saying good riddance to former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
"I am glad that he pulled the plug," said U.S. Senator Joni Ernst. "It was time for him to go."
Ernst discussed the embattled cabinet member's resignation in a town meeting with constituents Friday morning at the Gladys Wirsig-Jones Auditorium in Shenandoah. Pruitt's resignation comes amid several ethics violations and as he faced pressure from several Midwest members of Congress, who were critical of his stance regarding renewable fuels. Ernst had grown increasingly angry with Pruitt, accusing him of lying to her and other senators last year when he pledged to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard mandates for ethanol and biodiesel.
"Hopefully we can forge a good relationship with the EPA," said Ernst. "We want to make sure that the EPA is doing the right thing and supporting the RFS. That's vitally important to Iowa."
Before Pruitt's resignation, Iowa Third District Congressman David Young called the criticism Pruitt was receiving "well deserved."
"I think it's well deserved that he's getting this criticism," said Young. "We've heard about the ethical issues, and there's hearings on that. Then, I'm concerned, as well, about the treatment he is giving rural Iowa, and rural America, in terms of Renewable Fuel Standards, biofuels, and those kind of things, and not keeping the president's promises."
Pruitt is being succeeded by Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler -- a former coal industry lobbyist. Ernst says she is already working to schedule a meeting with the acting administrator.
"I want to make it very clear to him that he needs to uphold the congressional intent of the RFS," said Ernst. "He needs to maintain that. No if's, and's or but's about it."
Likewise, Senator Chuck Grassley announced his support for Pruitt's resignation, saying "President Trump made the right decision. Administrator Pruitt’s ethical scandals and his undermining of the President’s commitment to biofuels and Midwest farmers were distracting from the agency’s otherwise strong progress to free the nation of burdensome and harmful government regulations."
Before Pruitt's resignation, the EPA did raise production standards for ethanol and biodiesel, however, the administration failed to commit to eliminate hardship waivers that allow refiners to bypass biofuel requirements.
Read the original article: Ernst: It Was Time For Pruitt To Go