WASHINGTON, D.C.— Moments ago, in a bipartisan vote of 59 to 40, the U.S. Senate confirmed Gina McCarthy as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The confirmation came within a month of President Obama instructing the EPA to cut carbon pollution from power plants as part of his plan to fight global warming. Margie Alt, executive director for Environment America, issued the following statement in response:
“Gina McCarthy’s confirmation is long-awaited good news for the planet and should not surprise anyone remotely familiar with her record.
“McCarthy’s stellar work under both Republican and Democratic governors, coupled with her track record at EPA proves that when it comes to protecting our families’ health and environment, it isn’t about which party or who you work for. It’s about whether you can get the job done. Gina McCarthy can get the job done.
“Working with a variety of stakeholders over the past four years, McCarthy was integral to several historic initiatives, including new, cleaner car standards that represent the biggest step the U.S. has ever taken to get off oil and tackle global warming; the first-ever federal limits on mercury pollution from power plants; and the first-ever proposed federal limits on carbon pollution from new power plants.
“I am confident that McCarthy will continue to put her professionalism and commitment to work developing solutions to the formidable environmental challenges we still face.
“There is much that remains to be done. In the next three years, we’re counting on EPA to finalize carbon limits for new and existing power plants — the largest sources of global warming pollution — as outlined in President Obama’s recently announced Climate Action Plan. In addition EPA must secure protections for all our waterways, ensuring safe drinking water for 117 million Americans, limiting pollution from development and factory farms.
EPA must also deal with the tremendous health and environmental threats from fracking and move ahead with other much-needed environmental initiatives.
“I thank the Senate for confirming Gina McCarthy’s appointment. My staff and I look forward to working with EPA and its new chief to address our most pressing environmental challenges.”