Farmer, ethanol producers rally during EPA chief’s visit

The renewable fuel standards have for years been essential to driving ethanol production.

Published on June 14, 2018 9:27AM


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Farmers and ethanol producers gave Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt a rough reception in South Dakota, accusing him of undermining the industry that’s a key part of the state’s economy.

About 200 people rallied in Sioux Falls on Wednesday, urging Pruitt to support federal ethanol mandates, the Argus Leader reported. They criticized him for granting waivers to oil producers that allow them to ignore ethanol-blending rules. The renewable fuel standards have for years been essential to driving ethanol production.

“We’re here today to bring awareness to everyone in the state of South Dakota and the Upper Midwest that the administrator is not doing his job,” Houghton-area farmer Troy Knecht said.

Pruitt said it’s important to understand that the EPA works with other government agencies to determine who receives a waiver.

“It’s not a decision the EPA makes in isolation,” he 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. A Daily Republic reporter was turned away but later allowed access.

Pruitt joked about his reception.

“As I came to South Dakota, there were a few billboards greeting me, and they didn’t say ‘I hope you’re having fun,’” Pruitt said. Instead, the administrator said he saw messages imploring him to support ethanol over big oil.



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