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Ernst Blocks EPA Deputy Administrator Nominee

Without Ernst’s vote, the EPA nominee does not have a path forward in the Senate EPW Committee

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee—which provides oversight of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – has announced her opposition to the nominee to be the Deputy Administrator at EPA, Doug Benevento. Without Ernst’s vote, Benevento will not be brought before the committee and therefore a path forward on his nomination no longer exists.

“Until EPA tells us exactly what they plan to do with the ‘gap year’ waivers, Mr. Benevento does not have my vote,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “Iowa’s hardworking ethanol and biodiesel producers are sick of being yanked around by Andrew Wheeler and the EPA. Our producers need certainty; until we get that, no EPA nominee is getting my vote.”


This is not the first time Ernst has held up an EPA nominee. The Iowa senator held up the nominee to lead EPA’s air office until the former administrator, Scott Pruitt, committed in writing that he would not seek to reduce the biofuel requirements.

Ernst also helped take down former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt saying in part: “He is about as swampy as you get here in Washington, D.C., and if the president wants to drain the swamp, he needs to take a look at his own cabinet…Mr. Pruitt is breaking our president’s promises to farmers…Maybe at some point Trump will say it’s time for you to go.”