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EPA NOMINEE TELLS MIDWEST SENATORS HE WILL SUPPORT RFS
Des Moines Register reports:

Midwest Republican senators got reassurances from EPA chief nominee Scott Pruitt that he will "follow the law" that requires ethanol and biodiesel to be blended into the nation's fuel supply, Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley said.

Pruitt, president-elect Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, "did alleviate my concerns," said Ernst, who met with Pruitt along with other Republican senators Thursday. She also met with him individually.

Pruitt, Oklahoma's attorney general, "said he will enforce the laws written by Congress," said Ernst, who will continue to vet Pruitt. She invited him to visit an Iowa ethanol plant and meet with farmers.

Grassley said Pruitt's commitment to the federal renewable fuels law is important. The law is what "EPA is supposed to follow and not undermine it, the way the current administration has done," Grassley said in a statement.

Vilsack says he's worried about future of ethanol mandate
"As far as whether I'll support the nomination, I tend to wait for nomination hearings before making up my mind," he said.

Renewable fuel advocates have voiced concern about Trump's nomination of Pruitt and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head the Energy Department.

The oil state representatives have opposed the Renewable Fuel Standard, the federal mandate that requires ethanol and biodiesel to be blended into the nation's fuel supply. Trump supported renewable fuel during his campaign.

"He has no intention to undermine the RFS," Ernst said, adding that Pruitt "went a step further," criticizing the current EPA administration for missing deadlines that set RFS fuel blending requirements.

Trump's energy pick gives Iowa biofuels supporters heartburn
Pruitt also said he will take "a good hard look" at the Waters of the United States rule, now being challenged in court, Ernst said. "He's willing to undo some of the rules and regulations that we believe" defy common sense and "would be harmful to businesses and industry."

The regulations, issued by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, seek to clarify and expand the agencies' regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

Ernst said she's recommended candidates for U.S. agriculture and veterans affairs secretaries, but declined to say who. Trump is likely taking his time with the nominations, she said, because "they're very important choices."



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