Farmers and ethanol producers in South Dakota held a good old fashioned tractor rally in Sioux Falls as Administrator Pruitt met with farmers in Reliance about 200 miles west. "Corn prices right now are at breakeven or below and we've lost 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol to exemptions that EPA has granted to refiners", said South Dakota Corn Growers president Troy Knecht. They criticized him for granting waivers to oil producers that allow them to ignore ethanol-blending rules. "I would say this, that there's a guy behind him in (EPA Deputy Administrator) Andrew Wheeler who is really qualified too, so that might be a good swap".
The Post, citing multiple individuals familiar with the matter, said the EPA aide, Samantha Dravis, contacted Doug Deason, a prominent Republican donor with ties to the oil industry, for a job for Marlyn Pruitt in 2017.
"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.
Shaub, who headed the ethics office under President Barack Obama, said there was nothing partisan about his criticism of Pruitt.
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, chair of the Senate environment committee that has oversight of the EPA, said that he plans to call Pruitt to testify before his panel about his scandals later this year, his spokesman Mike Danylak said.
Renew Kansas board member and President/CEO of East Kansas Agri-Energy, Bill Pracht, provided a tour of the facility's ethanol and renewable diesel operations before turning the event over to a lively standing-room-only conversation on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
"Administrator Pruitt, welcome to South Dakota", he said. Numerous farmers who spoke to Pruitt said that they felt the waiver increase was hurting their farms and their income. "So that's what we've seen, is a spike in applications".
"A spike? That's more than a spike".
Pruitt told the group he believes E15 should be available year-round.
Pruitt faces somewhere around a dozen investigations into things like first-class travel costs and relationships with lobbyists, and it was recently reported Pruitt used his office to try to get his wife a Chick-fil-A franchise in Tulsa. "I have taken the position that if that doesn't stop, I am going to ... be in a position where I am going to be forced to say 'Scott you are not doing your job.' ..."