US Senate confirms McCarthy as new EPA administrator

18 July 2013 23:26  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Senate on Thursday confirmed Gina McCarthy as the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ending a nearly five-month standoff over what had been a contentious nomination to some in the petrochemical and energy sector.

President Barack Obama in March selected McCarthy to succeed Lisa Jackson as EPA administrator, saying he was “confident that she’s going to do an outstanding job leading the EPA”.

McCarthy had served as assistant administrator in charge of the agency’s office of air and radiation since 2009, and in that position she frequently clashed with energy and petrochemical officials over the EPA’s broad moves to limit industrial emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases.

Her nomination had stalled in the Senate’s Environment and Public Committee due to Republicans boycotting a vote on her until the EPA answered more questions about the nominee. The agency pledged to do so, and the GOP members relented.

American Petroleum Institute (API) CEO Jack Gerard congratulated McCarthy on her confirmation but cautioned against the creation of “onerous new regulations”.

 “We congratulate Gina McCarthy on her confirmation as the next EPA administrator,” he said. “McCarthy’s confirmation comes at a critical time as our economy is recovering and America is becoming a global leader on energy. President Obama has laid out a vision for an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, and we hope McCarthy’s leadership will align the agency’s regulations with that vision. It’s critical for American jobs, revenue for our government and our energy security.”

Bob Dinneen, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), also offered his congratulations, calling her “approachable and open to dialogue”.

 “There is no question that she is a thoughtful, solution-oriented professional who will handle the tough job ahead of her with grace,” he said.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) said in a statement that it looks forward to working with McCarthy “to ensure that regulations protect health and the environment while at the same time encouraging innovation, competitiveness and job creation”.

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) did not share the same optimism in a statement following McCarthy’s confirmation.

“Doubtlessly, Gina McCarthy will continue to execute the president’s war on affordable energy, and the administration has announced plans to arm her with a new arsenal of regulatory authorities,” the IER said.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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