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Administrator Pruitt Wraps Up Week-Long Heartland Tour

06/15/2018
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

Omaha, NE  — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt just wrapped up a tour across the heartland — meeting with farmers in Kansas, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Administrator Pruitt released the following statement:

“Our nation’s farmers are important partners to EPA in achieving positive environmental outcomes. After visiting communities in Kansas, South Dakota, and Nebraska, I will take perspectives shared with me back to Washington to continue working on meaningful solutions on important issues such as the Renewable Fuel Standard.”
 

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

KANSAS

Congressman Roger Marshall: “Good to have Administrator Pruitt in Kansas and especially at an Ethanol plant where he could hear firsthand concerns about proposed changes to the RFS. I’m glad to see the EPA and this administration taking farmers concerns seriously and taking the time to hear from them firsthand. I’m also especially heartened by the discussion of progress on a sorghum Oil Biofuels Pathway.” 

Kansas Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr. Jackie McClaskey: “We appreciate the opportunity to show the EPA administrator the important work being done in Kansas to protect natural resources while growing Kansas agriculture, and we look forward to continuing the conversation in the future. Communication with our federal partners is key to developing policy that meets the needs of Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusiness.”

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Jeff Andersen: “We appreciate the opportunities provided by the Environmental Protection Agency to implement federal programs in ways that meet the needs of our state. We will continue to work with our State and federal partners, such as EPA, to identify innovative solutions to Kansas environmental concerns, such as smoke management and drinking water and wastewater system compliance.”

Kansas Farm Bureau President Rich Felts: “Administrator Pruitt visited Farm Bureau members in the Flint Hills region of Kansas today to see firsthand the need for prescribed wildland fire to maintain a native ecosystem of tallgrass prairie. Kansas ranchers need a partner from regulators such as KDHE and EPA to ensure the centuries-old tradition of prairie fire continues to keep invasive trees and species at bay. We trust Administrator Pruitt and the Trump Administration will do everything in their power to ensure the Flint Hills region remains in native prairie and is not overcome with Eastern Red Cedar and other non-native plants.”

East Kansas Agri-Energy President Bill Pracht: “That today’s meeting with Administrator Pruitt far exceeded the scheduled time limit for the gathering speaks to the urgency of the uncertain conditions confronting East Kansas Agri-Energy and Kansas corn growers. This venue provided all of us a critical opportunity to explain exactly how EPA’s real and proposed actions directly impact East Kansas Agri-Energy and Kansas corn. We thank Mr. Pruitt for listening.”

Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC CEO Jan Koninckx: “Butamax welcomes the decision by the EPA, after thorough review of Butamax’s submission, to register isobutanol at 16% level as a gasoline additive. We believe that the combination of bio-isobutanol’s desirable fuel properties and Butamax’s production technology means that bio-isobutanol has the potential for widespread introduction into commerce.”

SOUTH DAKOTA

NorthWestern Energy CEO Bob Rowe: “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. 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.”

South Dakota Cattlemen's Association Executive Director Jodie Anderson: "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.”

Event Host and Farmer from Reliance, South Dakota, Adam Schindler: “Our decision to host EPA Administrator Pruitt was a decision carefully weighed and decided. As a farmer and a leader, the significance of an opportunity to host a cabinet-level official who leads decisions authorized through the EPA that have a six-figure impact on our annual farm profitability and discuss what we like and do not like was a worthwhile endeavor. It was a professional event with very frank discussion between producers and the Administrator about Renewable Fuels Standard concerns, the sorghum oil advanced biofuels pathway and other EPA decisions that impact South Dakota farmers and ranchers. We appreciate Administrator Pruitt for taking the time to listen to these concerns and challenges. The changes in blending obligations related to RFS waivers are costing South Dakota farmers millions of dollars and there are clear differences of opinion between the Administrator and agriculture on the impact of RIN prices on commodity prices. We hope to see the EPA take steps to resolve this issue and maintain the Administration’s commitment to renewable fuels.”

NEBRASKA

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts: “Thank you to President Trump and Administrator Pruitt for delivering on your promise to roll back the job-killing WOTUS regulation. Today's announcement is the next step toward returning common sense to federal oversight of intra-state waterways. Removing this threat to our state’s top job creators gives Nebraska the freedom to grow more opportunities for the next generation in the areas of agriculture and manufacturing.”

Mayor of Omaha Jean Stother: "We work cooperatively with the EPA on many important projects. Today, I shared our plans for the Omaha Riverfront Revitalization project, which includes Lewis and Clark Landing, a former Superfund site. The work we are doing can be shared with other cities to redevelop these sites for new public use."

Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Director Jim Macy: “This is the first time I’ve been able to pick up the phone and call EPA staff directly and elevate issues that need resolving. We thank Administrator Pruitt and his team for the cooperation as we work to achieve positive environmental outcomes for Nebraska.” 

Green Plains CEO Todd Becker: “We appreciate Administrator Pruitt taking the time to visit and learn more about the challenges and opportunities for the ethanol industry and the broader agriculture community. We will continue to work toward solutions that allow greater market access for ethanol in line with the President’s commitment to rural America.”

Nebraska Cattlemen President Galen Frenzen: "Producers are the original environmentalists, and we care deeply about our water and our land as that's our livelihood. If we are going to get our next generation home to the ranch, we need clarity and certainty regarding regulation. Nebraska's livestock industry needs a replacement rule that is common-sense and allows landowners to easily determine whether a WOTUS exists on our operation."

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REGIONAL COVERAGE

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Visits Nebraska To Talk About Trump Administration's New Waters Of The United States Rule. "Scott Pruitt met with a group called Common Sense Nebraska at the Nebraska Farm Bureau headquarters in Lincoln... He told the group that the EPA on Friday plans to propose a new set of rules about what constitutes a Water of the United States and therefore is subject to federal regulations. A previous proposal under then-President Barack Obama received intense criticism from agriculture groups that said it went too far. Pruitt described the upcoming proposal as 'regulatory reform' rather than 'deregulation.'" (Omaha World-Herald, 6/15/2018,
http://www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/epa-chief-scott-pruitt-speaks-in-lincoln-meets-with-stothert/article_e7dd885a-b615-5473-9571-db7a110efd12.html)  

Administrator Pruitt Holds Round table With Farm Bureau In Lincoln. "Scott Pruitt stopped by Farm Bureau to do a round table with the leaders of agriculture in Nebraska. He focused on the new bill for Waters Of The United States. The Trump administration is releasing the replacement of the definition of Waters Of The United States rule, also known as WOTUS. 'It's going to provide clarity to farmers and ranchers and folks all over the country with respect to how a federal jurisdiction begins and where it ends.' Pruitt said the old WOTUS Act treated farmers, ranchers and land owners not like partners, but adversaries." (KLNTV, 6/14/2018) 

Pruitt Meets With Ag Groups To Discuss WOTUS And E-15 Fuel Blends. "Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, visited the Cornhusker state on Thursday to meet with not only the governor, but with members of several agriculture groups. Among the topics discussed at Thursday's meeting, Pruitt spoke not only about the Waters of the U.S. rule, but also allowing E-15 fuel blends year round...Pruitt said changes are coming to WOTUS as soon as Friday." (Nebraska TV, 6/14/2018) 

VIDEO: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Visits Kansas Ethanol Plant. (The High Plains Journal, 6/14/18)