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EPA Urged: Avoid Hurting Iowa Farmers, General Public

Iowa is the top producer of biofuels in the country. (Andreas/Pixabay)
Iowa is the top producer of biofuels in the country. (Andreas/Pixabay)
October 18, 2017

NEW HARTFORD, Iowa - From Iowa's Senate delegation as well as from former federal environmental officials in Washington, warnings are being issued about where the Environmental Protection Agency is headed under the guidance of Scott Pruitt.

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, both R-Iowa, were to meet with Pruitt on Tuesday, asking him to stop the agency's plans to cut production of biofuels in 2018.

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," he said, "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 strokes."

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 scheduled to vote on the budget proposal today.

Holstein, who now serves as senior director for strategic planning at the Environmental Defense Fund, said they've put together a publicly available document called "Pruitt's Playbook" which, they say, shows the motives and planned movements of the EPA.

Eric Schaeffer, executive director for the Environmental Integrity Project, argued that Pruitt's goal is simple: "to take the heat off some of the biggest polluters in the U.S. and that's being done with EPA's collusion."

Grassley has said that if Pruitt's plans to cut biofuels go through, they would hurt rural America.

"Pruitt's Playbook" is online at edf.org.

Kevin Patrick Allen, Public News Service - IA