President Obama Nominates Former Clean Air Director to Lead EPA

by Katie Greenhaw, 3/5/2013

Yesterday, President Obama nominated Gina McCarthy to head the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). McCarthy served as an assistant administrator leading EPA's air and radiation programs during Obama's first term. Environmental groups applauded the choice, though McCarthy's historically strong stance on clean air standards could make her a target during confirmation proceedings.

In a press conference announcing several major nominations, the president recognized McCarthy's ability to fill the shoes of former Administrator Lisa Jackson, who led unprecedented efforts to protect public health and combat climate change.

Obama again emphasized that addressing climate change is a priority for his administration, and with McCarthy’s nomination, he seems to be following through on this commitment.

The nomination has received support from business and conservation groups alike, but, as The Washington Post reports, industry allies in Congress are unlikely to let McCarthy through without a fight. Some Senate members intend to focus confirmation hearings on EPA's activities over the last four years, which they view as overly burdensome.

President Obama stated that he hopes the Senate will confirm McCarthy as soon as possible. Over the past several years, delays have plagued key nominees who are at the front lines of protecting Americans from harm. Agencies like EPA need confirmed leaders in place in order to govern effectively and develop crucial standards and safeguards for our families and communities.

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