The American Coalition for Ethanol is urging Senators to “secure tangible documentation” from EPA Administrator nominee Andrew Wheeler on a pair of biofuel issues before supporting his confirmation. In a letter sent to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, ACE CEO Brian Jennings called for commitments to resolve two issues: rulemaking to allow E15 to be sold during the summer months and to reallocate gallons waived through small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Wheeler has commented on both issues previously — pledging to pursue the E15 rulemaking and saying lower biofuel credit prices will make SREs harder to obtain, but Jennings said Wheeler should be held to a high standard “because of the harm done to renewable fuels by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.” The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled to vote on Wheeler’s nomination next week. A refining industry source called the request "absurd," saying Wheeler and other administration officials have pledged to have the E15 rule out in time for this summer. "I guess Mr. Wheeler's sworn testimony in his confirmation hearing isn't enough for the ethanol advocates," the source said in an email to Agri-Pulse. The letter comes after a group of ag organizations sent a letter to EPW committee leaders on Monday urging Wheeler's swift confirmation. The letter, signed by more than 60 groups, praised Wheeler's previous experience on EPA issues relevant to agriculture and said "it is hard to imagine a more qualified individual for the role of EPA Administrator" and urged a vote to confirm Wheeler, who has been serving as the acting administrator since July, "at the earliest date possible."
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