After repeated delays and political grandstanding, a Senate hearing has been scheduled for noon today on the nomination of Gina McCarthy to become EPA Administrator.
McCarthy, currently EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, is a former Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and an environmental advisor to five Massachusetts governors (including Mitt Romney). But after being nominated by President Obama for EPA’s top post, she drew fire from some conservatives for her efforts at EPA to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
UPDATE at 5:20 p.m.: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today voted 10-8 in favor of approving Gina McCarthy's nomination to head U.S. EPA, sending the nomination to the Senate floor.
The position of EPA Administrator is critically important for the future of the Chesapeake Bay. The federal agency over the next 12 years must hold Bay region states accountable for meeting pollution limits for the Chesapeake established by the administration in December 2010.
McCarthy would make a competent and qualified leader of EPA, one who would likely continue the important work that is going on right now to meet the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. She has a solid record of environmental protection, balanced rulemaking, and bipartisan collaboration during her career at EPA and in state government.
It would be unfortunate if her nomination became derailed by partisan politics over climate change.
And would be a tragedy if EPA’s top job were left vacant for an extended period of time because of Congressional gridlock.
This ship needs a captain, now, and McCarthy has the qualifications to take the wheel.
By Tom Pelton
Chesapeake Bay Foundation