(Washington, DC) On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, questioned Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt on his efforts to roll back harmful rules and regulations. The Senator also addressed the EPA’s role in securing consumer access to E15, gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol, year-round.

Ernst asked Pruitt about the status of the Reid vapor pressure waiver to eliminate restrictions on E15 ethanol blends. He stated the process to determine the agency’s legal authority over this matter continues, but agreed this is an important issue for Iowa stakeholders.

Additionally, the junior U.S. Senator from Iowa recalled a previous conversation with Pruitt last August where they discussed moving functions of the EPA and other federal agencies out of Washington, D.C. to regions across the nation where the decisions are felt firsthand. Ernst stressed that decentralizing decision makers would help prevent harmful regulations, like the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, from even being considered. Pruitt stated his support for looking at the benefits of locating “operational units” in each state to better serve the unique needs of an area.

In her second round of questioning, Ernst stated that as she travels on her 99 county tour of Iowa, businesses and manufacturers have said they are seeing tremendous economic growth due to the rolling back of regulations. She asked how the agency will continue working to return power to the states and maintaining the current economic growth trend. Pruitt agreed that rules not rooted in statutes cause uncertainty for those affected by regulation, and that he will continue working to achieve “clarity, certainly, confidence” for the American people.