White House to Nominate McCarthy as New EPA Chief


The White House has announced that it will nominate Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  McCarthy currently is EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, and has been instrumental in marshaling the administration’s climate change programs, including regulations curtailing coal-fired power plant emissions, and automotive fuel economy standards.


McCarthy, who pundits have been predicting would be elevated to the top spot, is not known as an ideologue.  She has served Republican governors, including Mitt Romney, and has a strong and respected working relationship with the business community.   She is regarded as a pragmatist, an administrator with a penchant for science and fact-driven decisionmaking (she was responsible for ordering the reconsideration and revamping of EPA’s boiler rule), and has often been praised for her willingness to meet with industry and consider all sides of an issue.


There will likely be some Republican opposition to McCarthy’s nomination, as well as some objections from the coal industry, but, all in all, her selection might be less controversial than it might have been given McCarthy’s ability to work with industry.


Before moving to EPA, McCarthy headed the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.  She has spent the last four years commuting to D.C. from her home in Boston.