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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 [email protected].

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

In this June 2, 2017, file photo, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt looks back after speaking to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

EPA chief Scott Pruitt has 'epiphany,' sides with ethanol industry in key policy fight

After heavy pressure from lawmakers and other stakeholders, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday night sided with pro-ethanol lawmakers and said his agency will abandon many controversial changes to the nation's ethanol mandate -- prompting a top biofuels leader to claim that Mr. Pruitt apparently has had an "epiphany" over the past few days. Published October 20, 2017

Pruitt meets with Grassley, other lawmakers to discuss ethanol

As the Trump administration mulls cuts to the federal mandate known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, Congress's most vocal biofuels champions are urging the government to change course and instead ramp up support for ethanol. Published October 17, 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, in this June 2, 2017, file photo. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

EPA to end Obama-era 'sue and settle' practice

The Trump administration on Monday took steps to end the highly controversial "sue and settle" practice that led directly to a host of environmental regulations throughout former President Obama's tenure. Published October 16, 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, in this June 2, 2017, file photo. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

EPA repeal of Clean Power Plan doesn't mean pollution can be ignored, say experts

The Environmental Protection Agency's repeal of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan doesn't necessarily let the Trump administration off the hook, environmental groups and legal scholars say, and the government may have to show courts that it intends to address carbon pollution from power plants in some way, shape or form. Published October 15, 2017

House committee passes national monument bill to president's creation power

A key House panel Wednesday evening cleared a bill to rein in presidents' authority to create national monuments, striking a major blow at the heart of a power used extensively by former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama -- often over the objections of locals. Published October 11, 2017

The federal government has a standing commitment to cover health care and pensions for retired miners. (Associated Press/File)

American Miners Pension Act sparks regional divide in Congress

The latest attempt to secure benefits for tens of thousands of retired coal miners pits Appalachia against the West, with battle lines drawn by region and not by party as Congress seeks to solve a looming crisis by pumping federal loans into failing pension plans. Published October 9, 2017

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who authored the 1990s ban on assault weapons, said over the weekend that Congress must enact a law banning them or risk seeing a future president simply change federal policy with the stroke of a pen. (Associated Press/File)

Consensus on gun control stops with regulation of bump stocks

Lawmakers in both parties, the White House and the National Rifle Association have found common ground on outlawing so-called bump stocks, devices that increase rates of fire and can essentially create fully automatic weapons. Published October 8, 2017

In this July 26, 2013, file photo, a motorist fills up with gasoline containing ethanol in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

EPA, ethanol industry clash over potential changes to Renewable Fuel Standard program

The ethanol industry Tuesday launched a highly coordinated effort to drive a wedge between President Trump and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt charging that the president risks selling out the rural Midwestern voters who helped propel him to the White House if he doesn't step in and stop proposed EPA rules that would punish the biofuels sector and reward oil refiners. Published October 3, 2017

Department of Homeland Security officials look on as crews work on prototypes for a proposed border wall in front of the primary border structure separating Tijuana, Mexico, behind, and San Diego, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in San Diego. The federal government is giving a first peek at construction of prototypes for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall, an area that is walled off from public viewing in a remote area of San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Border wall foes lobby judges to halt construction

President Trump's border wall proposal has sent his opponents rushing to courthouses as powerful environmental groups and Democrats in Congress and the states demand federal judges step in to try to derail any new construction. Published October 1, 2017