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Ernst Presses EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler on E15 Year-Round, Small Refinery Exemptions

WASHINGTON – Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) held U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s feet to the fire, today, with regard to fulfilling President Trump’s promise of E15 year-round and ensuring the Agency examines its practice of evaluating and determining hardship in small refinery exemptions.

During the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be EPA Administrator, Senator Ernst asked Mr. Wheeler directly if the Agency will have the E15 year-round rule in place by May 31, the beginning of the summer driving season. Ernst also asked Mr. Wheeler for assurance that EPA will examine small refinery exemptions closely and not give blanket exemptions, as was done by his predecessor, Scott Pruitt.

Click here or on the image above to watch Senator Joni Ernst’s full line of questioning.

Below is an excerpt of Senator Joni Ernst’s line of questioning.

Ernst: “What I’d like to just have you reaffirm for me today—and you know exactly the questions I’m going to ask—reaffirm the commitment that we will see E15 for our summer driving season?”

Wheeler: “Yes, we are still on schedule for that. We are not able to work on it during the shutdown.”

Ernst: “Can you assure me then that you will be examining those [economic hardship] exemptions and not giving blanket exemptions as it appears has been done in the past by your predecessor?”

Wheeler: “Yes, we will examining each one individually to make sure that each one is warranted, individually.”

Ernst: “Certainly we understand the potential for hardship out there, but we don’t agree that every exemption that has been given in the past has been due to a hardship.”