Stop me if you’ve heard this before

Source: By ANTHONY ADRAGNA, Politico • Posted: Monday, November 6, 2017

Two corn-state Republican EPW senators — Deb Fischer and Joni Ernst — are publicly undecided about Kathleen Hartnett White’s nomination to run the White House Council on Environmental Quality after meeting with her over past critical comments toward the Renewable Fuel Standard. “I am withholding judgement right now,” Fischer told reporters Thursday. A spokeswoman for Ernst said she plans to ask additional questions on White’s views at her Nov. 8 confirmation hearing. Remember: Just one Republican defection sinks a nomination in the tightly divided EPW panel.

What has White said about the RFS? She has been far more vocally opposed than even Bill Wehrum, whose selection to run the air office was briefly delayed over the issue. Back in July 2013, she wrote: “It is time to repeal the renewable fuel standard — not to expand or entrench this market distortion.” White also wrote its importance to the Iowa presidential caucuses explains the durability of the “counterproductive and ethically dubious” RFS in her book. She’s repeatedly argued biofuels are creating a “global food crisis” and urged Congress to end the program’s “destructive food-as-fuel folly.”

Fears of a repeat from some: Jim Inhofe told ME “there’s reason to suspect” the bloc of biofuels backers might withhold support for White over her RFS stance and called their efforts to impede the Wehrum nomination “a little extreme.” But Chairman John Barrasso, as always, projected confidence when asked if he worried they’d derail the confirmation process: “I’m committed to the president’s nominees and we’re going to go ahead with the hearing next week.”