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What You Need to Know About Obama's Picks to Head the Department of Energy and the EPA

Obama tapped Ernest Moniz for the DOE and Gina McCarthy for the EPA -- here's a look at where they stand on the issues.

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Coral Davenport  reports:

If nominated, she’ll face a fiery confirmation hearing from Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The panel’s ranking Republican, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, and senior Republican member John Barrasso of Wyoming hail from states where oil and coal production are big parts of the economy—and EPA regulations are viewed as straight-up job-killers.

The view of most Republicans, those who won't want to dismantle the EPA altogether, has long been, despite a Supreme Court ruling to the contrary, that the EPA has no business trying to control greenhouse gas emissions.

Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters  praised her:

Gina McCarthy cares about progress not partisanship. She’s worked for administrations from both parties and made extraordinary progress protecting the air we breathe and defending public health. Republicans and Democrats easily confirmed Gina McCarthy as head of the EPA’s clean air division, and we hope they move swiftly to confirm her as head of the agency. We look forward to working with her to combat the climate crisis, protect our air and water, and advance chemical policy reform.

The NRDC also backed her, as did Fred Krupp at the Environmental Defense Fund, and Sierra Club's Brune  said:

We welcome the nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Assistant Administrator McCarthy has a strong record of protecting the health and safety of millions of Americans by limiting dangerous pollution in our air and supporting programs that help get America's kids outside.

One group that has had big problems with the EPA recently is the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. The president and CEO, Mike Duncan,  said Monday:

We congratulate Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy on her nomination to be the next EPA Administrator, and we hope for a more constructive working relationship with the EPA under her leadership. We hope that if she is confirmed she can put EPA on a more balanced path that recognizes America’s continued need for coal, and the importance of clean coal technology.

More constructive? In other words, ACEEE's question for her is along the lines of why can't you be more like Stephen Johnson, the EPA's second director under George W. Bush, who  Naturemagazine in an editorial  stated had displaced a "reckless disregard for law, science or the agency's own rules—or, it seems, the anguished protests of his own subordinates."


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