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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 bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

President Obama drinks from a bottle of water after his speech at Washington Park in Sandusky, Ohio, on July 5, 2012. Obama is on a two-day bus trip through Ohio and Pennsylvania. (Associated Press) **FILE**

EPA finds fracking poses no direct threat to drinking water

Fracking does not pose a direct threat to drinking water supplies, the Obama administration said Thursday in a major study that represents a serious blow to environmentalists and other vocal opponents of U.S. oil and gas production. Published June 4, 2015

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. in this 2014 file photo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) **FILE**

EPA's renewed renewable fuels push has critics fuming

The Obama administration's move last week to increase the amount of ethanol and other renewable fuels that must be blended into gasoline supplies left virtually everyone unhappy, casting new doubt on the future of the government's long, contentious Renewable Fuel Standard. Published May 31, 2015

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Biofuels mandate mess: New EPA ethanol standards under fire

The U.S. energy boom and low gas prices have wreaked havoc with the federal government's mandate to blend more ethanol and other biofuels into fuel supplies, leaving the Obama administration under fire and struggling to meet the mandates set by Congress nearly a decade ago. Published May 29, 2015

President Barack Obama speaks to media as he meets with Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 29, 2015. The president said a "handful of senators" are the only thing standing in the way of an extension of key Patriot Act provisions before they expire at midnight Sunday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama, intelligence chief plead for Senate GOP to relent on Patriot Act standoff

President Obama and the government's chief intelligence official made a plea Friday for Senate Republican leaders to relent in their fight to preserve the NSA's phone-snooping program, saying that unless a deal is reached by Sunday, investigators will no longer be able to apply for new roving wiretaps come Monday. Published May 29, 2015

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., gets a campaign assist from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., left, at the Warren County Regional Airport in Paul's hometown, Bowling Green, Ky., on Nov. 3, 2014. (Associated Press) **FILE**

White House likens McConnell-Paul 'feud' to Hatfields and McCoys

The White House said Friday that the ongoing "feud" between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul is just the latest in a long line of Kentucky conflicts, dating back to the famous Hatfield-McCoy battles of the late 1800s. Published May 29, 2015

President Obama speaks after receiving a briefing at the National Hurricane Center in Miami on Thursday to draw attention to preparedness in advance of the annual storm season that formally begins June 1. Mr. Obama linked hurricanes to climate change. (Associated Press)

Obama defends plan, links hurricanes to climate change

President Obama on Thursday linked hurricanes and other extreme weather events to climate change -- the latest move by this White House to keep the issue at the forefront of domestic politics while also pursuing a landmark international agreement to save the planet. Published May 28, 2015

President Barack Obama, with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate, participate in a briefing at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Thursday, May 28, 2015, to draw attention to preparedness in advance of the annual storm season that formally begins June 1. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama: Teach climate change in schools

Saying that children "instinctively" understand the importance of the environment, President Obama said Thursday that climate change should be taught in schools and "weaved" into science and social studies classes. Published May 28, 2015

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy (Associated Press) **FILE**

EPA expands powers over land use in bid to control water pollution

The administration announced rules Wednesday to grant federal agencies sweeping environmental oversight over wetlands, ponds and even some ditches in a move supporters said will clean up dirty waters but which critics said was a capstone power grab for a lame-duck president. Published May 27, 2015

A Russia-backed rebel take aim on the outskirts of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. The situation in eastern Ukraine has remained tense and skirmishes between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists have continued. Vice President Joseph R. Biden said that ending the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a key test of U.S. and European leadership. (Associated Press photographs)

Joseph Biden: Ending Ukraine war a key test for U.S., Europe

Joseph R. Biden said Wednesday that ending the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a key test of U.S. and European leadership for this generation — but specialists say the vice president laid out no new American strategy for countering Russian aggression, and the Obama administration seems content on staying the course with economic sanctions and continued diplomatic outreach to Moscow. Published May 27, 2015

Local residents and Sunni tribal fighters welcome newly arriving Iraqi Shiite Hezbollah Brigade militiamen, brandishing their flag, who are joining the fight against Islamic State group militants in Khalidiya, 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo)

White House sidesteps defense secretary's comments on Iraqi forces

President Obama on Tuesday didn't distance himself from Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's claim that Iraqi forces showed "no will to fight" last week when Islamic State terrorist fighters captured the town of Ramadi -- but the White House also wouldn't explicitly endorse the Pentagon chief's comments. Published May 26, 2015

President Barack Obama gives the commencement address as he attends the U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduation in New London, Conn., Wednesday, May 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama: Climate change a threat to homeland security, hurts military readiness

President Obama on Wednesday largely ignored major advances by the Islamic State, a nuclear North Korea and other threats to the U.S., and instead sounded an alarm on climate change, telling future military officers a warming planet is perhaps the most sweeping danger facing the nation today. Published May 20, 2015