EPA spent almost $3.5M on security for Pruitt

EPA spent almost $3.5M on security for Pruitt

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been on a tour of farm country this week, meeting with corn farmers and ethanol producers in Kansas and South Dakota already and next to Nebraska.

Pruitt thanked each person in attendance and said he supported an RVP waiver that would allow year-round E15 sales and believes EPA has the authority to grant it, eventually. "But the same could be said of many other people, including Andrew Wheeler, the agency's deputy administrator, who would become acting administrator upon a vacancy in the top job", the editorial said.

Pruitt also heard from farmers during a two-hour visit to a Reliance farm that wasn't publicized and was closed to the public.

Pruitt came under fire again following reports he had a top aide contact Republican donors a year ago to help secure work for his wife at a conservative political group.

Pruitt joked about the reception, saying signs greeting him "didn't say 'I hope you're having fun.'" He said messages instead implored him to support ethanol over big oil. Numerous farmers who spoke to Pruitt said that they felt the waiver increase was hurting their farms and their income. On Wednesday, Grassley remarked at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, "Pruitt is ill-serving the president".

This is the second time that Pruitt's wife and her employment have shown up on the long list of the administrator's ethical scandals.

But, the ethanol industry has seen other perceived attacks, including hardship waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard account for an estimated demand loss of 1.56 billion gallons, according to the Renewable Fuels Association. James Inhofe said he has had enough.

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Renew Kansas President and CEO Ron Seeber noted, "Administrator Pruitt learned, without a doubt, that the industry is frustrated".

Virginia Canter of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a public watchdog in Washington, told the Post that Pruitt using a full-time EPA employee as a "headhunter for his spouse" is "highly inappropriate".

"It's not a decision the EPA makes in isolation", he said.

EPA, he said, should have "done its own homework", and the agency is now evaluating how the process was conducted.

"I've said there are a lot of things that he has done - I know him very well - some are not characteristic of him at all", Inhofe said.

"A spike? That's more than a spike".

News organizations have unearthed evidence of Pruitt enlisting aides on multiple occasions to try to help line up work for his wife.

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