Sen. Inhofe criticizes Scott Pruitt, wants face-to-face meeting with embattled EPA chief

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Virginia Canter of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a public watchdog in Washington, told the Post that Pruitt using a full-time EPA employee as a "headhunter for his spouse" is "highly inappropriate".

"The Office of Inspector General has not only expanded a number of ongoing reviews, but has also initiated additional reviews concerning a wide range of allegations related to the Office of the Administrator", his letter said. And Leacy Burke, a spokeswoman for the senator, emphasized he is not calling for Pruitt's resignation.

But, the ethanol industry has seen other perceived attacks, including hardship waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard account for an estimated demand loss of 1.56 billion gallons, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.

About 200 people rallied in Sioux Falls on Wednesday, urging Pruitt to support federal ethanol mandates, the Argus Leader reported.

Those comments from Inhofe and Ernst arrived within hours of growing calls among conservative ranks for Pruitt to step down, including criticism from Laura Ingraham, a conservative radio host for Fox News whom President Trump follows on Twitter.

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The effort appeared to focus on getting Marlyn Pruitt a job in conservative political circles.

"Biofuels policy has an important impact on the value of the crops we produce on our farm", he said. He told the group it's important to understand that the EPA works with other government agencies to determine who receives a waiver. "Pruitt is replaceable. And he should be replaced". Chuck Grassley have particularly clashed with Pruitt over rules around the use of ethanol. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, to call for them. "And he asked for an extended 45 days. and we're looking forward to finding out more when that is filed". Pruitt has been the EPA Administrator since February 2017.

Pruitt also touched on the endangerment finding, the scientific determination that underpins the agency's climate change regulations.

Trump has continued to vouch for Pruitt and said last week that Pruitt "is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA".

EPA, he said, should have "done its own homework", and the agency is now evaluating how the process was conducted. Numerous farmers who spoke to Pruitt said that they felt the waiver increase was hurting their farms and their income.