Obama Nominates New Energy Secretary, New EPA Administrator

Gina McCarthy has finally been confirmed by the Senate as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. Environmentalists largely welcomed the news, while energy industry trade groups’ statements seem focused on avoiding “burdensome” regulations. Some groups seemed to react as much to the protracted confirmation process as to its culmination.

Here is what they had to say.

BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster:

“Gina McCarthy’s leadership on initiatives expanding renewable energy, protecting communities and addressing climate change in partnership with both sides of the aisle is unparalleled.

“It is disappointing to see that it has taken this long to act…Senate rules must be updated so that nominees and the important issues of our day get the full and fair debate they deserve.”

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune:

“Gina McCarthy has a proven record of protecting American families and getting things done.”

“There is simply no good reason that it should take 137 days for a qualified, experienced, bi-partisan nominee like her to be confirmed.”

Alliance to Save Energy’s Rodney Sobin, Director of Research and Regulatory Affairs

“As the Alliance’s National Commission on Energy Efficiency Policy developed its recommendations for policies, programs and regulations that could double U.S. energy productivity by 2030, we found a great ally and partner in EPA and we are confident that Administrator McCarthy will become an even stronger and more effective energy efficiency champion as she takes her place at the helm of EPA.”

Edison Electric Institute President Tom Kuhn

“A number of significant electric power industry issues are on EPA’s regulatory agenda right now, including the pending Section 316(b) rule for cooling water intake structures, coal ash regulations, and new source performance standards for new and existing power plants.”

“Gina has a keen understanding of the challenges facing our industry, and we have had a long and constructive relationship. We will continue to work with her and her team to ensure that EPA considers the environmental benefits, as well as the energy and economic impacts – particularly on customers – of each rulemaking that affects our industry.”

Adam Monroe, Americas Regional President for Novozymes

“The New Administrator understands the importance of stable policy, like the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

API President and CEO Jack Gerard

 “President Obama says his top priority is creating American jobs, and we will continue working with EPA to make sure we are protecting the environment and lowering emissions without the burden of unnecessary new regulations.”

Gerard cited the increasingly unworkable Renewable Fuel Standard, upcoming EPA proposals for new Tier 3 regulations on gasoline that could raise manufacturing costs, first time regulations on CO2 emissions, and new ozone standards that could halt business development across the country.