BROOKLYN, Iowa – Iowa secretary of agriculture candidate Craig Lang today called for the dismissal of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, saying the former Oklahoma attorney general is too beholden to oil interests to make fair and impartial decisions about the Renewable Fuel Standard and the future of America’s ethanol production.
Lang, a dairy and beef farmer who raises corn, soybeans and alfalfa is a former Iowa Farm Bureau Federation president, said Pruitt’s role in encouraging President Trump to curtail proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) guidelines last year was a welcome action that spared the nation’s farmers from over-regulation. However, Pruitt’s long-time relationship with oil-industry interests has proven to be a threat to farm income, the ethanol industry and Midwest economy.
“Scott Pruitt was deservedly praised for his action on WOTUS, but it didn’t take an oil man to do that,” Lang said. “Sadly, Scott Pruitt has demonstrated that he’s an oil man, not by profession but in his heart and through his actions. It’s for President Trump to say, ‘Scott Pruitt, you’re fired!’”
The Renewable Fuel Standard requires renewable fuel to be blended into transportation fuel in increasing amounts each year, reaching 36 billion gallons by 2022 in an effort to reduce greenhouse gases. Pruitt has shown an inclination to weaken the RFS in response to efforts by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and oil interests to contain compliance costs.
Meanwhile, Pruitt is the subject of no less than 10 open investigations into his leadership and spending decisions and ethics. Four top EPA administrators have resigned in the past week.
“Clearly, there are other issues that raise red flags about Mr. Pruitt’s continued service. I’m confident they will be sorted out, but the farm economy is in a precarious position. Another bad decision by Scott Pruitt could push us over the edge and, unfortunately, has a well-documented track record of bad decisions,” Lang said. “We can’t afford to leave the fate of the Midwest economy in the hands of anyone so clearly in the Big Oil’s corner that he seems determined to put its profits ahead of the nation’s best interests.”