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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jul 29, 2013 9:27 AM Flag

    After Delayed Vote, E.P.A. Gains a Tough Leader to Tackle Climate Change

    After Delayed Vote, E.P.A. Gains a Tough Leader to Tackle Climate Change

    Published: July 28, 2013

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. — When Lisa P. Jackson announced at the end of last year that she was stepping down as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, President Obama faced a choice. He could play it safe by appointing her deputy or he could confront Congress head-on and signal a strong commitment to tackling climate change by appointing the agency’s head of air quality, Gina McCarthy.

    “Why would you want me?” Ms. McCarthy said she asked the president when he offered her the top job. “Do you realize the rules I’ve done over the past three or four years?”

    Ms. McCarthy, an earthy, tough-talking New Englander who drew criticism as the head of the agency’s air and radiation office during Mr. Obama’s first term, then ticked off a list of controversial air pollution regulations she had helped write: tough greenhouse gas standards for vehicles, a tighter ozone limit that the White House rejected, the first rule on mercury emissions from power plants, and a regulation on smokestack pollution that crosses state lines, which has been blocked by a federal court. She warned that earning confirmation from the Senate might be difficult and that safer choices were available.

    The president told Ms. McCarthy that his environmental and presidential legacy would be incomplete without a serious effort to address climate change.

    “I’m so glad he said that, because if he hadn’t, I wouldn’t have wanted this job,” she said. “It’s an issue I’ve worked on for so many years, and it just can’t wait.”

    Mr. Obama’s decision to nominate Ms. McCarthy, 59, was an act of defiance to Congressional and industry opponents of meaningful action on climate change. It was also a sign of his determination to at least begin to put in place rules to reduce carbon pollution.

    Ms. McCarthy was right about her confirmation. She was flooded with more than 1,000 questions fr

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