It was announced yesterday that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt had tendered his resignation to President Trump. There had been several calls for investigations into some of Pruitt’s dealings and purported abuses of his office.
The announcement of his resignation has had different effects in agriculture, and rightfully so. When President Trump was running for office, he promised farmers and ranchers to do away with EPA regulations considered to be overreaching. One such rule was the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which opponents said was vague in its definition on what constituted a “navigable waterway.” Pruitt kept Trump’s campaign promise and rescinded the rule. The process to replace the rule with a version containing a clearer definition is slowly moving forward.
There are Ag groups which are thankful to Pruitt for his work on WOTUS. One of those is the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). NCBA’s Collin Woodall expressed disappointment in Pruitt’s resignation.
However, Woodall does not believe a new administrator will affect the future of a new and clear WOTUS rule.
On the biofuels side of Agriculture, the reactions are more like the ending of “Return of the Jedi.” Pruitt was under constant fire for what was considered to be a misuse of small refiner waivers in the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). Pruitt’s actions undercut the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) by almost two million gallons. Because of these actions there was a lot of heat for Pruitt to resign.
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen says Pruitt was waging a “war on agriculture.”
Dinneen is hopeful the RVO will now be met and waivers will no longer be “handed out like Halloween candy.”
Iowa Corn Growers President Mark Recker says their frustration had been building for a long time. They are ready to work with new leadership.
Recker says any positive gains on policies such as WOTUS are far outweighed by the detriment done to the RFS.
It just goes to show how much difference there is in Agriculture. While we are in it together, we also see not everyone views the same news in the same light.