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Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.

Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.

He can be reached at

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2017 file photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Pruitt on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, won Senate confirmation to head the EPA, a federal agency he repeatedly sued to rein in its reach during the Obama administration. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Oklahoma goes to state Supreme Court to fight release of more Pruitt emails

Oklahoma is fighting the release of additional emails from Scott Pruitt, the state's former attorney general and the recently installed EPA administrator, setting up a court battle next week with a watchdog group that argues the documents show collusion with oil and gas companies. Published February 24, 2017

New EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt invoked conservationist John Muir in his remarks Tuesday, which riled up the conservation lobby, who say Mr. Pruitt's track record shows him to be no friend to the environment. (Associated Press)

New EPA Chief Pruitt promises major changes from Obama years

Scott Pruitt told EPA employees Tuesday that he's committed to protecting the environment and upholding the agency's core mission, but he also signaled that major changes are ahead as he begins to dismantle much of former President Obama's climate change agenda. Published February 21, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks to employees of the EPA in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

New EPA chief Pruitt says agency will respect rule of law, states' rights

He didn't delve into policy specifics nor did he mention his predecessors by name, but new Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday told federal employees that under his leadership the agency once again will adhere to the rule of law and will respect states' rights. Published February 21, 2017

Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency are publicly questioning new administrator Scott Pruitt's (seated) ties to the energy sector, worried that such links may affect his ability to do the job. (Associated Press)

EPA questions Pruitt's link to oil, gas

Scott Pruitt will take the helm at the Environmental Protection Agency this week facing questions about his relationship with fossil fuels companies and a workforce that, at least in part, seems skeptical about his plans for the agency. Published February 19, 2017

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2017 file photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt  is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The Republican-controlled Senate is poised to confirm Pruitt on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Scott Pruitt, Trump's EPA nominee, ordered to turn over thousands of emails

Giving new fuel to critics who are demanding Senate leaders halt a vote on his confirmation to head the EPA, Scott Pruitt late Thursday was ordered by an Oklahoma judge to turn over thousands of unseen emails related to his communications with the oil-and-gas industry. Published February 16, 2017

President Donald Trump hands the pen he used to sign H.J. Res. 38 to Kevin Hughes, General Manager, Murray Energy Corporation, second from right, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The president is surrounded by coal miners and members of congress including Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., right, Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, left, and Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio. third from left, (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump nixes Obama regulations on coal industry

Saying he's keeping the promise he made to coal miners during his campaign, President Trump on Thursday afternoon nixed regulations on the coal industry implemented during the waning hours of Obama administration. Published February 16, 2017

Environmentalists say the Trump administration represents a threat to their efforts, such as replacing fossil fuels and with more renewable energy. Scary messages about the president are helping them raise money. (Associated Press)

Trump helps drive donations to environmental groups

Go to the website of any leading environmental group, and you'll find ominous warnings that President Trump may soon destroy the planet -- often accompanied by scary photos of the chief executive. Published February 9, 2017

President Trump swept through Iowa during his campaign with promises to maintain the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is part of the lifeblood of Iowa's corn-rich populace. Mr. Trump's promise flies in the face of his own policies that heavily favor oil and coal over renewable energy sources such as ethanol, which is produced from corn. (Associated Press)

Trump, EPA nominee differ on renewable fuel program

He has vowed to slash environmental regulations and promote U.S. oil and gas development, but President Trump is under intense pressure to make an exception for the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, which has spawned the country's attachment to ethanol. Published February 5, 2017

Judge Neil Gorsuch is at the center of a heated debate that began last year when Republicans refused to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. (Associated Press)

McConnell doubts Gorsuch will need 'nuclear option'

Amid pressure from President Trump to confirm his nominee at all costs, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday said he believes Judge Neil Gorsuch ultimately will get the 60 votes needed to become the next Supreme Court justice. Published February 5, 2017