Tag Archives: Administrator Andrew Wheeler

WASHINGTON (July 9, 2020) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler issued the following statement on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill.

“I would recommend President Trump veto this bill. The Democrats’ FY21 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill fails to include funding for vital programs necessary to ensure EPA can carry out its core mission.

“At a time when countless cities across America are facing financial difficulties, Democrats have completely gutted the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), a popular loan program which has provided nearly $12 billion in water infrastructure projects and created 25,000 jobs under President Trump. Since the onset of the pandemic, WIFIA has saved taxpayers over a billion dollars while continuing to move critical infrastructure projects forward in cities including: San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Miami, FL, Courtland, NY, Wichita, KS, and numerous other cities across the country.

“House Democrats are blackmailing the agency on the basis of their arbitrary response deadlines for congressional letters. In an election year gimmick they are attempting to penalize the agency by threatening to withhold funds for an alleged failure to provide information regarding my predecessor that was shared with the Appropriations Committee more than a year ago.

“The House Majority is trying to score political points instead of putting forward a realistic appropriations bill. They are trying to undo common-sense regulations put forth by the Trump Administration that update Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and make lawful methane adjustments that have saved taxpayers millions of dollars while protecting human health and the environment, and allowing American businesses to flourish.

“Rather than looking out for the health and safety of Americans and the environment, House Democrats are playing politics at the expense of both communities across the country and EPA career employees.”

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz sent a letter to Andrew Wheeler, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator regarding small refinery exemptions. They’re asking the agency to reject all of the 52 applications for retroactive small refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuels Standard for past compliance years.

Governor Noem and Governor Walz are the chair and vice-chair of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition. “We are concerned that EPA is considering exemptions for prior years that were specifically submitted to evade the court of appeal’s decision by allowing refineries with lapsed SREs to establish a continuous chain of exemptions,” the governors say. “Approving prior-year SREs in this manner ignores the court’s decision and congressional intent, and it will severely impact farmers and rural communities that support the biofuels industry.

Since 2017, the EPA has granted 85 SREs, undermining farmers and biofuel producers throughout the nation.” In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Tenth Circuit ruled that the EPA could not legally award exemptions to refiners that didn’t receive any waivers in previous years and had failed to demonstrate hardship in any way related to the RFS. If all 52 applications get approved, the coalition says it will cost the market more than two billion gallons worth of demand.