Senate approves McCarthy's nomination to lead the EPA

By Erin Voegele | July 18, 2013

The U.S. Senate has voted to approve Gina McCarthy’s nomination to lead the U.S. EPA by a vote of 59 to 40. President Obama nominated McCarthy as the EPA administrator in March. Details on the vote can be accessed on the Senate website

Before her nomination, McCarthy served as assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. She will replace former Administrator Lisa Jackson, who resigned in December. Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe has been serving as acting administrator in the interim.

Members of the biofuels and biomass industries have been speaking out to applaud the Senate’s action. “Throughout her career, Gina McCarthy has proven she understands that smart environmental policies create market certainty and in turn, jobs,” said Nicole Lederer, co-founder of Environmental Entrepreneurs. “Now that she has secured the support of the Senate, it’s time to get to the important work of reducing carbon pollution, developing more clean energy and leveraging American innovation to keep our economy growing. We look forward to working with her.”

Novozymes issued a statement congratulating McCarthy. “The new administrator understands the importance of stable policy, like the renewable fuel standard,” said Adam Monroe, Americas regional president for Novozymes. “Across the country, smart, stable policy is creating innovation, investment in our communities and jobs for our workers. It’s also protecting cities and towns where our families live. We’re ready to work with the new administrator, doing more to protect our air and water.”

David Foster, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance, said his organization is looking forward to working with McCarthy to expand the use of clean energy, create jobs and advance the president’s climate change plan. “During her tenure at EPA, 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,” he said. “We look forward to building on these successful efforts and to implementing President Obama’s plan that will begin the process of addressing climate change in a comprehensive way.”

Brian Jennings, executive vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol, said that his organization feels the administration and EPA will continue the nation’s commitment to ethanol and other renewable fuels. “Gina McCarthy understands the renewable fuel standard to be the linchpin to our continued success reducing petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “She’s also familiar with how E15 passed the tests EPA administered before approving it as a safe option for 2001 and later model year passenger vehicles. ACE members are looking forward to working with McCarthy as EPA administrator.”

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen noted that his organization has always found McCarthy to be approachable and open to dialogue. “There is no question that she is a thoughtful, solution-oriented professional who will handle the tough job ahead of her with grace,” he said. “As a first order of business, the U.S. ethanol industry would like to extend an invitation to visit any of our biorefineries for an up-close, hands-on explanation of our resource-efficient production process as well as a chance to hear first-hand the pride ethanol plant workers take in their product. Our workforce is proud that it is creating a lower cost, cleaner fuel choice for American drivers while creating jobs domestically and revitalizing rural America. There is perhaps no better context in which to understand the importance of the renewable fuel standard than to see it in action. Not to mention, it is wicked fun to see a room full of bright yellow distillers grain.”

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis has also spoken out to congratulate McCarthy. “President Obama has chosen an excellent and well-qualified individual to lead the EPA and I look forward to working with Administrator McCarthy to continue to advance the growth and development of sustainable biofuels,” he said. “Ms. McCarthy is extremely qualified and is known for her willingness to always examine issues with a fair and open-minded approach—I know that she will continue to serve as a leader and advocate for advancing the renewable fuel standard and other important domestic energy policies.”