EPA insider tapped to lead agency faces resistance from industry over coal regs
Ernest J. Moniz (Photo credit: jeanbaptisteparis)
President Obama's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is already running into resistance from the fossil fuel industry over concerns that she would escalate a "war" on oil, coal and natural gas.
EPA veteran Gina McCarthy was one of three nominees Obama announced at the White House late Monday morning. He also tapped MIT scientist Ernest Moniz to head the Energy Department and Walmart's Sylvia Mathews Burwell as his next budget chief.
All will have to undergo Senate confirmation. And McCarthy -- given her background and the controversial nature of the agency she wants to lead -- could face the toughest screening.
"Today's announcement that the president wants Gina McCarthy to serve as the next EPA administrator is a clear indication that the administration will continue a war on affordable energy," Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, said in a statement.
"Throughout her career McCarthy has implemented policies that attempt to constrain the use of reliable energy sources. ... It appears the president is rewarding these efforts by increasing her ability to implement an ideological and political agenda. If confirmed as EPA administrator, McCarthy will continue the regulatory attack on oil, coal and natural gas with the result that Americans will experience increasing energy costs and high unemployment rates."
McCarthy led the Office of Air and Radiation, and in that role oversaw regulations that some in the domestic energy industry blame for lost coal jobs.
Key were first-ever regulations on greenhouse gas emissions out of new power plants. That followed new controls on mercury emissions.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said the nomination makes clear that Obama "wants to continue pursuing an aggressive climate agenda at EPA."