President Obama Makes Nominations for U.S. Secretary of Energy and EPA

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President Obama nominated EPA Assistant Administrator and air quality expert Gina McCarthy for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator on Monday, along with nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz for U.S. Secretary of Energy.

The response is now coming in from the environmental community.

“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,” said Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director.

As head of the EPA’s clean air division, McCarthy forged bipartisan coalitions to finalize strong clean air safeguards and historic fuel efficiency standards, and as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, she led the state’s ‘No
Child Left Inside’ campaign.

The Sierra Club thanked outgoing EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for her four years of outstanding service, and said, “we look forward to working with Assistant Administrator McCarthy on critical issues such as prioritizing environmental justice and finalizing additional clean air protections, including carbon pollution standards for new and existing sources and Tier 3 cleaner tailpipe standards.

Gina McCarthy’s nomination was obviously one of Washington’s worst-kept secrets, according to Frank O’Donnell with Clean Air Watch.

“But, seriously, Clean Air Watch enthusiastically applauds this decision,” O’Donnell said in an e-mail to supporters.

“Every American is – or will soon be – breathing cleaner air because of McCarthy,” O’Donnell said. “As the head of EPA’s air division, she spearheaded vital public health protections, including historic mercury controls for coal-fired power plants, tougher new air quality standards for fine-particle soot, and landmark greenhouse gas standards for cars and trucks. Breathers need McCarthy now more than ever as EPA prepares to tackle critical air quality challenges, including the need for smog-fighting lower-sulfur gasoline, updated national ozone air standards and greenhouse gas standards for both new and existing power plants.”

Dealing effectively with climate change is the challenge of a lifetime, he said.

“Perhaps needless to say, EPA also needs a strong leader as it faces furloughs and budget cuts,” he said. “Breathers could be harmed if too many environmental cops are taken off the beat and air pollution monitoring is reduced.”

The Sierra Club also congratulated Mr. Moniz on his nomination to lead the U.S. Department of Energy in a press release sent out Monday morning.

The department will continue to play a critical role on the decisions that determine how the U.S. powers its economy.

“In his role as Secretary of Energy, we urge Mr. Moniz to prioritize clean, renewable energy as climate solutions over destructive fossil fuels and boondoggles like liquefied natural gas exports,” Brune said. “We would stress to Mr. Moniz that an ‘all of the above’ energy policy only means ‘more of the same,’ and we urge him to leave dangerous nuclear energy and toxic fracking behind while focusing on safe, clean energy sources like wind and solar.”

The Sierra Club commended the outgoing Sec. Chu for his service, and said, “we look forward to working with Mr. Moniz to solidify a safe, clean energy future for Americans.”

© 2013, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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