July 18, 2013

Senate Confirms Gina McCarthy as Next EPA Administrator

Statements by UCS Board Chair Dr. James McCarthy, UCS Executive Director Dr. Kathleen Rest

WASHINGTON (July 18, 2013)—The Senate today confirmed Gina McCarthy as the thirteenth administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Below is a statement by Dr. James McCarthy, chairman of the board at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), who joined five other past presidents of the American Association for the Advancement of Science to support her confirmation:

“The agency needs someone who understands the science and who can also work with states and affected industries to make rules that work. Gina McCarthy has always fit that bill and it is welcome news that she’ll finally be able to take the reins at the agency.”

Below is a statement by Dr. Kathleen Rest, executive director at UCS and a former acting director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health:

“Administrator McCarthy is starting the job with a full inbox. The most urgent item on her desk is finalizing cleaner gasoline and tailpipe standards. She has an opportunity there to score a significant public health victory right out of the gate.

“She’ll also need to do much of the heavy lifting on the president’s climate plan. Most importantly, she’ll need to keep new carbon standards for power plants on track in order to meet his emissions-reduction goal.  Establishing sensible carbon limits can ensure that the transition to cleaner energy is smooth and affordable.

“Without strong standards, higher natural gas prices could easily make coal look like an attractive investment again, wiping out recent progress on emission reductions as well as the health benefits we’re enjoying from reduced coal use. Getting the carbon rules right could be McCarthy’s legacy at the agency.”

Dr. Rest has written a blog post with more details on priorities for Administrator McCarthy.