April 11 News: EPA Nominee Gina McCarthy Hearing Day, Opposition Is Muted

In the Wall Street Journal, Sen. John Barasso previews his probable line of attack on EPA nominee Gina McCarthy, saying she zealously promulgated regulations on fossil fuels, but he fails to mention the EPA is following the Supreme Court’s mandate that it regulate carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act. Yet an article in the Journal itself makes the case that McCarthy has worked well with business and for two GOP governors. [Wall Street Journal, WSJ]

Republicans love to lambaste the Environmental Protection Agency, where Gina McCarthy has worked for four years. But though they plan to grill Ms. McCarthy at a Senate hearing Thursday on her bid to lead the agency, her nomination has yet to run into major land mines, leaving supporters confident she will win approval. …

Though the EPA remains a source of friction in Washington, people who have followed Ms. McCarthy’s career say the lack of an orchestrated campaign against her is likely due to her background, including working for a pair of GOP governors and a reputation for taking business concerns seriously.

“I don’t think you’ll find anybody who questions her honesty, intelligence or integrity,” said Robert Rio, who was counsel for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a trade group of companies that worked with Ms. McCarthy while she was a state environmental regulator in the 1990s and early 2000s. “I never felt she was antibusiness,” he said. “In fact, she always made it her mission to hear from all sides before making a decision.”

Other businessmen who have locked horns with the EPA in recent years also said Ms. McCarthy is receptive to their concerns. …

The nominee cut her teeth as an environmental regulator in Massachusetts and Connecticut, where she worked under GOP governors, including Mitt Romney. She worked to clean up polluting power plants in both states, and sued out-of-state companies that caused air-quality issues in the Northeast. She was also instrumental in creating the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a plan to curb emissions.

The President’s proposed budget would end oil industry tax breaks, slightly increase EPA’s budget, invest more in clean energy, and might sell the Tennessee Valley Authority. [Houston Chronicle, Washington Post, Reuters, AP]

The Senate confirmed Sally Jewell to be the next Secretary of the Interior, 87–11. [AP]

A business coalition with revenues of half a trillion dollars wrote a letter urging the President to confront climate change, saying “We cannot risk our kids’ futures on the false hope that the vast majority of scientists are wrong.” [The Hill]

Mindy Lubber of Ceres explains how Americans are already paying for carbon pollution in the form of crop insurance, flood insurance, wildfire damage, and state taxpayer exposure. [LiveScience]

Greenpeace fact-checks a speech given by the Premier of Alberta on the Keystone XL pipeline’s effects and Alberta’s environmental record. [Greenpeace]

Losing the war on coal? The average number of coal-based jobs in the U.S. has grown 15.3% from President Bush’s tenure to President Obama’s. [Grist]

The city of Copenhagen is pushing hard to be carbon neutral bu 2025. [Yale Environment 360]

A windstorm in Southern California helped the state produce a record amount of wind power last weekend. [NBC San Diego]