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Administrator Pruitt Meets with Regulated Stakeholders in South Dakota

06/13/2018
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

Washington  — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt met with employees at NorthWestern Energy and attended a roundtable with sorghum farmers at Schindler Farms.

“It’s important to hear directly from the community that EPA regulates, and today we heard from farmers and utility workers about the impact of the Agency’s work,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “From the Renewable Fuel Standard to the so-called ‘Clean Power Plan,’ we are working hard to fulfill the agency’s true mission while providing certainty to stakeholders in South Dakota and across the country.”

Administrator Pruitt started the day meeting with over 45 employees at NorthWestern Energy in Sioux Falls, South Dakota — a utility company that serves over 700,000 customers in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Montana. At this meeting, they had a discussion about the impacts the “Clean Power Plan” would have had on South Dakota residents, the commitment to cooperative federalism, reforms to Regional Haze, permitting improvements, and the work being done at NorthWestern Energy. 

“We were honored to visit today with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and highlight our work to provide our customers in South Dakota, Nebraska and Montana secure, reliable and affordable electricity and natural gas,” said NorthWestern Energy CEO Bob Rowe. “We rely on a  diverse balance of fuel sources, including hydro, coal, natural gas, wind and solar, to serve our customers. We are committed to environmental stewardship in all aspects of our service.  We support a thoughtful approach to energy policy that will allow us to continue to provide safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible essential services to the people and communities we serve.”

Following the meeting, Administrator Pruitt attended a roundtable discussion with sorghum farmers at Schindler Farms in Reliance, South Dakota. Here, Administrator Pruitt discussed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), specifically the pathway approval for sorghum, which the Agency is working diligently to complete. He also discussed the Agency’s work on the "Waters of the United States" rule and the importance of providing certainty for farmers and ranchers. 

"SDCA welcomes Administrator Pruitt to South Dakota to see first-hand the strong conservation ethic demonstrated by our state's farmers and ranchers. We appreciate the opportunity to thank the Administrator directly for the work he has done thus far to roll back burdensome regulations, especially the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. Landowners care for and about the land and other natural resources and we appreciate Administrator Pruitt's actions, which acknowledge that more bureaucracy and government mandates do not necessarily equate to cleaner air and water," said South Dakota Cattlemen's Association Executive Director Jodie Anderson.

“Biofuels policy has an important impact on the value of the crops we produce on our farm,” said Reliance, South Dakota Farmer Adam Schindler. “I am glad we were able to have that conversation with the Administrator today and to hear a sorghum oil pathway is near completion.” 

Background on sorghum pathway:

When analyzing a pathway petition the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires the EPA to conduct a lifecycle analysis of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to determine whether a biofuel qualifies for inclusion in the RFS. The National Sorghum Producers completed an application in April 2017, and in December 2017 EPA published a proposed rule to grant the petition and provide an RFS pathway for Grain Sorghum Oil. The comment period closed in late January 2018. Since then, EPA  has been working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to finalize its analysis and is working expeditiously to finalize this action.