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Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang covers energy and the environment for The Washington Times. He covered Hillary Clinton's presidential bid in 2016, and prior to that spent two years as a White House correspondent during the Obama administration.

Before coming to The Times in 2011, Ben worked as political reporter at The Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.

He can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

Ethanol, oil industries find common enemy in electric cars

Even as they're locked in a bitter, high-stakes battle over the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, the ethanol and oil industries each say they need to put aside differences and work together to prepare for an existential threat to both of their futures: electric cars. Published February 22, 2018

President Barack Obama speaks to members of the media while on a hike to the Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska, on Sept. 1, 2015, which according to National Park Service research, has retreated approximately 1.25 miles over the past 200 years. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Obama official funneled thousands of dollars in grant money to family

A top official in the Obama administration's Interior Department helped facilitate payments of thousands of dollars in federal money to a family member, the department's inspector general said in a report late Tuesday that found clear abuse of the office's grant policies. Published February 21, 2018

"With respect to Philadelphia Energy Solutions, just now in bankruptcy, we're talking about 1,100 jobs here," said Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican. (Associated Press)

Cruz attacks 'government license' in fight against ethanol

Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday will travel to Philadelphia for a battle in his war against the ethanol industry, meeting with workers at an oil refinery that says it faces financial ruin due to the federal biofuels mandate. Published February 20, 2018

In this Jan. 30, 2018, photo, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the Senate Environment Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Under attack, ethanol industry clings to Trump: 'The president is on our side'

With their industry under increasing attack, ethanol leaders on Tuesday appealed directly to President Trump and cast him as an unwavering ally who will stand up for their interests in Washington, even as key administration officials examine regulatory changes that could hurt the biofuels sector. Published February 13, 2018

Sen. Ted Cruz has become public enemy No. 1 for the ethanol industry. He's held up federal nominees over his opposition to the national biofuels mandate.
talks with a reporter as he gets on an elevator on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (Associated Press)

Cruz battles ethanol industry over national biofuels mandate

SAN ANTONIO | As ethanol leaders meet here in the heart of his home turf, Sen. Ted Cruz has emerged as Washington's leading critic of the industry, holding up federal nominees over his opposition to the national biofuels mandate, lambasting the sector in fiery Senate floor speeches, and leading a coalition of oil-friendly lawmakers to the Oval Office in hopes of weakening the Renewable Fuel Standard. Published February 12, 2018

FILE - This May 8, 2017, file photo shows an aerial view of Arch Canyon within Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. The window opened Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, for oil, gas, uranium and coal companies to make requests or stake claims to lands that were cut from two sprawling Utah national monuments by President Trump in December but there doesn't appear to be a rush to seize the opportunity. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)

Congress reasserts authority over national monuments

After years of presidents stretching their legal authority to create sprawling national monuments with little input from Congress, lawmakers on Tuesday formally reasserted themselves into the process and began debate on three separate bills to create or modify monuments. Published February 6, 2018

In this Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, photo, coal ash is removed from the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, N.C., to be transported by rail to a permanent site in Virginia.  (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Trump push for 'beautiful, clean coal' reignites old debate

President Trump's declaration last week that his administration is pushing "beautiful, clean coal" has reignited a debate about whether such a fuel truly exists, with environmentalists and other critics — even including some industry leaders — charging that "clean coal" often is a misnomer and little more than a political catchphrase. Published February 4, 2018

This sign located near the headquarters of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as seen Tuesday, July 17, 2007, in Austin, Texas, calls for the removal of chairwoman Kathleen Hartnett White.  Tom "Smitty" Smith, of the watchdog group, Public Citizen, that sponsors the billboard, says they are targeting her because of the quality of her decision making, which they say has been bad for the environment in Texas.  (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)

White House to pull nomination for chief Trump environmental adviser

Amid strong opposition and doubts that she'd be able to clear the Republican-controlled Senate, the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White to serve as President Trump's top environmental adviser was shelved late Saturday in an admission by the White House that their pick was unlikely to be confirmed. Published February 4, 2018

A flame burns at the Shell Deer Park oil refinery in Deer Park, Texas, on Aug. 31, 2017. (Associated Press) **FILE**

U.S. oil production hits highest level in nearly 50 years

Amid President Trump's vow to bring about American "energy dominance," U.S. crude oil production hit a five-decade high late last year and has nearly doubled over the past decade, continuing the country's steady ascent as one of the world's premier oil-and-gas hubs. Published February 1, 2018

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke gave Florida a waiver out of the offshore drilling proposal. Now more states are also trying to get passes out of the energy plan. (Associated Press)

Governors want offshore oil drilling exemptions, too

By giving Florida a waiver from its massive offshore drilling proposal, the Trump administration has opened a door that virtually every East Coast state, including those led by Republicans, is now trying to rush through. Published January 28, 2018