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Trump’s EPA Pick Worries Biofuel Makers

I’m not sure if it’s cognitive dissonance or buyer’s remorse, but I’m sure there’s schadenfreude to be had (if you’re that kind of mean person) in watching South Dakota biofuel makers try to square their support for the Trumpist regime with Trump’s selection of fossil-fuel ally and ethanol opponent Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Check out how Biodiesel Magazine tries to assure its industry readers that Pruitt won’t continue his resistance to the Renewable Fuel Standard that helps biofuel compete with Big Oil:

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said, “We congratulate Mr. Pruitt on his nomination and look forward to working with him to carry out President-elect Trump’s strong commitments to protecting the renewable fuel standard (RFS) and ending restrictions to getting more ethanol into our fuel supply. America’s ethanol industry worked hard to help bring President-elect Trump to the White House and continues to support his dedication to ensuring home-grown domestic energy security.”

The American Coalition for Ethanol noted Pruitt’s record is of concern, but cautioned against overreacting. “We are disappointed that, as the Oklahoma Attorney General, Mr. Pruitt opposed EPA’s approval of E15 and criticized the RFS,” said Brian Jennings, executive vice president of ACE. “While his record is cause for concern, there are a few reasons not to overreact …  First, Mr. Pruitt’s boss will be President Trump, who promised to strongly support the RFS during his campaign. Second, as part of the confirmation process, we expect several senators of both parties to forcefully educate Mr. Pruitt about the importance of ethanol to the rural states they represent. Third, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Mr. Pruitt will be bound to carry out the law of the land, meaning EPA must continue implementing the RFS [Erin Voegele and Ron Kotrba, “US President-Elect Trump Nominates Scott Pruitt to Lead EPA,” Biodiesel Magazine, 2016.12.07].

The industry is counting on Donald Trump to keep his campaign promises? That’s hilarious!

By announcing Pruitt for EPA, Trump has made the price of credits for federal biofuel blending mandates (Renewable Identification Numbers) drop 15% over the last two days. Right-wing Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa plans to grill Pruitt to ensure he supports continued government intervention in the marketplace to benefit her constituents. (Remember: Pruitt’s favored oil industry was born in even bigger government subsidies and continues to get huge corporate welfare.)

Ethanol maker Poet gave 77% more to Republicans than Democrats this cycle. Smooth move, Poet!


  1. mike from iowa 2016-12-09 07:47

    Deadbeat Drumpf was never an elected pol so I doubt he ever had a commitment to RFS, if he even knows what it is. What a complete joke of a Potus and the tools that believe in him are bigger jokes.

  2. mike from iowa 2016-12-09 07:49

    Pruitt made his living suing the very same government agency he is now in charge of running into the ground. Brilliant!

  3. leslie 2016-12-09 09:50

    Thune, bookend for mitch mcconnel, washington Mouth Piece For Limbaugh, sputters this Morning that “democrats are Clogging Up the Works Making It Necessary To Fund The Government just A few Months At A Time”. And The Radio Interviewer Lets Him Get Away With That. 270k Republican Voters In SD Dutifully Nod Their Heads Yes, as If Bobble Heads. So We expect Them To Wake From Brainwashed Stupor And Criticize Pruitt’s Appointment?

  4. Loren 2016-12-09 10:37

    Trump’s “strong commitment”? Really?? Has he shown a strong commitment to ANYTHING other than himself?

  5. Porter Lansing 2016-12-09 10:48

    Did she say, “FORCEFULLY EDUCATE”? A couple goon Senators are gonna “forcefully educate” the head of the EPA about a product that only exists because George W. needed the flyover vote? Sounds like how Chucky Brennan “forcefully educates” the delinquent debtors at his Clark County Kneecap Relocation business in Lost Wages, Nevada.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-09 11:35

    Yup, that article did say “forcefully educate”. That sounds like a euphemism for my old anti-bullying techniques. ;-)

  7. Porter Lansing 2016-12-09 11:39

    Good one.

  8. mike from iowa 2016-12-09 12:35

    Forcefully educate sounds like good grounds for a ‘stand your ground’ moment.

  9. mike from iowa 2016-12-09 12:38

    ps wonder what wingnuts consider eminent qualifications for a position if Merrick Garland wasn’t good enough for the Scotus. Trans Sec nominee is a wife beater and drunk driver. Stellar, but not necessarily eminent, qualities.

  10. Robert McTaggart 2016-12-09 13:04

    Any chance that the EPA pick is a “only Nixon could go to China” kind of pick with regard to the environment?

  11. Porter Lansing 2016-12-09 13:35

    FIRING SQUAD AT D.O.E. ~ What do you think is going to happen to our valiant fighters against man made global warming and their projects?
    SIREN – TRUMP TRANSITION TARGETS DOE WORKERS FROM CLIMATE DEAL: Trump’s Energy Department landing team has asked the agency for the names of employees and contractors who toiled on the Obama administration’s big climate change efforts, according to a 74-point questionnaire obtained by POLITICO. The questionnaire asks for a list of DOE workers who attended any United Nations climate change conferences in the last five years. It also requests the list of those who attended any of the interagency working groups that crafted the so-called “social cost of carbon,” which several Obama administration agencies have used to help justify some regulations.

  12. mike from iowa 2016-12-09 13:43

    What are you saying, Doc, Drumpf gets credit for ending the Vietnam war? With the same peace accord he had three years previously?

  13. Robert McTaggart 2016-12-09 14:39

    No…that to change the fossil fuel industry you may need someone from inside the fossil fuel industry.

  14. Robert McTaggart 2016-12-09 14:47

    Unclear whether DOE employees are being targeted. Could they have identified areas related to the Paris climate deal as politically feasible to focus cost-cutting?

    Or are they trying to understand what really went on…given his discussions with Al Gore? In other words, what does the Paris agreement actually require the U.S. to do…if anything?

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-10 09:45

    Robert, I can’t allow myself that kind of optimism. Trump does not want to change the fossil fuel industry. He wants them to drill and profit as much as they can. Have you read anything that suggests he wants them to change?

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-10 09:46

    And I think the Gore meeting is as plausibly explained as a photo op, and maybe even a chance for Trump to drag Gore in, raise his hopes a bit, and drub him publicly with the Pruitt pick.

  17. Robert McTaggart 2016-12-11 22:33

    You may be right, Cory, but I’d rather be optimistic in this case if given a choice :^). Not sure though that Gore would let himself be used as a photo-op.

    There are some oil and gas items that he probably needs to deliver on, but if they actually stop more methane releases, they get more profit (i.e. avoid wasting natural gas) while reducing carbon impacts at the same time.

    I suspect that a lot of this will come out in the hearings.

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