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EPA Urged to Change Course on Cuts

Missouri is the third leading producer of biofuels in the country. (12019/Pixabay)
Missouri is the third leading producer of biofuels in the country. (12019/Pixabay)
October 19, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Sen. Roy Blunt and a bipartisan contingent of his colleagues, as well as former federal environmental officials, are expressing concern about where the Environmental Protection Agency is headed under the guidance of Scott Pruitt.

Blunt is part of a group of senators who sent a letter to Pruitt this week, asking him to stop the agency's plans to cut production of biofuels in 2018. Meanwhile, Elgie Holstein, a former associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said proposed cuts to the EPA will hurt Americans from all walks of life.

"What this all translates into is that, if they're successful, we will see higher cancer rates, we will see more asthma attacks, we will see more heart attacks and stroke,” Holstein said.

President Trump and EPA Administrator Pruitt have said they want to eliminate burdensome regulations, arguing that they hamper businesses. The House voted in September to fund EPA at its lowest level in decades. The full Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the proposal in the coming days.

Holstein, who now serves as senior director for strategic planning at the Environmental Defense Fund, said that group has put together a document they call "Pruitt's Playbook" and posted it on their website. They say it shows the motives and planned movements of the EPA.

Eric Schaeffer, executive director of the Environmental Integrity Project, said he believes Pruitt's goal for the agency is simple.

"To take the heat off some of the biggest polluters in the U.S.,” Schaeffer said. “And that's being done with EPA's collusion."

Midwest senators, including Blunt and Iowa's Charles Grassley, have said if Pruitt's plans to cut biofuels go through, they would hurt rural America.

Kevin Patrick Allen, Public News Service - MO