Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Thursday pledged a “common-sense” approach to battling climate change and touted a career that included working for five Republican governors in an effort to counter GOP criticism of the agency she hopes to lead.
McCarthy called fighting climate change “one of the greatest challenges of our generation and our great obligation to future generations. I am convinced that those steps can and must be pursued with common sense.” Along with public health benefits, she said, those efforts can “create markets for emerging and new technologies and new jobs.”
The hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee broke down along party lines. Republican senators accused the EPA of killing jobs with overly burdensome air and water regulations and of failing to produce information they have sought on the basis for decisions on a variety of subjects.
Democrats characterized EPA decisions as based on sound science, emphasized the health benefits that cleaner air and water have produced in the 43 years since the EPA was created, and highlighted the economic benefits of environmental protections.