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Gina McCarthy: Strong Climate Credentials Plus a Sense of Humor

In past speeches, the expected nominee for EPA administrator has pushed for tough climate policies and reached out to help industry prepare.

Feb 27, 2013
(Page 2 of 2 )
Gina McCarthy

"The technologies and practices that capture and reduce emissions of VOCs and toxic air pollutants also reduce methane emissions," she said in her opening remarks at a Senate hearing in June. "Methane ... [is] a greenhouse gas that is more than 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide (CO2). EPA estimates that these standards will result in reducing methane emissions by up to 1 to 1.7 million tons—or the equivalent of about 19 to 33 million metric tons of CO2."

She also supports Obama's "all of the above" energy strategy. "Domestic natural gas production has never been higher while domestic oil production, currently at an eight-year high, will help to continue to reduce our nation's vulnerability to the ups and downs of the global markets," she told the committee.

The new air pollutant regulations would "support responsible oil and natural gas exploration and production" she added, and "help to level the playing field, requiring wells across the country to use cost-effective and proven technologies that leading states, cities, and companies already are using."

McCarthy's focus on "cost-effective" solutions has been a frequent refrain during her many appearances as a witness in congressional hearings. "We do not have to choose between the significant public health benefits from reducing air pollution from power plants and a strong, reliable electric grid," she wrote in her opening remarks for a February 2012 House committee hearing on mercury and other air toxics. "Nor do we have to choose between clean, healthy air and robust economic growth and job creation."

Four months later, she reiterated that point during another hearing on greenhouse gas regulations. "Our experience during more than 40 years of Clean Air Act implementation is that pollution reduction and a healthy economy can go hand in hand…In combination with other policies, adopting limits on carbon pollution can help to promote a gradual transition to a cleaner and more efficient energy future."

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