Nominee Has Misled on Major Regulations and Is Implicated in Email Scandal
WASHINGTON, Mar. 4, 2013 — Gina McCarthy has decades of experience as an environmental bureaucrat, but a number of factors make her wholly unqualified to serve as EPA Administrator, say experts at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. President Barack Obama nominated McCarthy on Monday to succeed Lisa Jackson as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“As Assistant EPA Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, Gina McCarthy has implemented radical environmental policies that will put hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work but do little to nothing to improve environmental quality,” said Myron Ebell, Director of the Center for Energy and Environment at CEI.
“McCarthy has regularly tried to conceal the Obama administration’s economically destructive policies by misleading Congress, the public and industry. She has regularly stonewalled congressional requests for crucial information. And she is up to her ears in the Richard Windsor email scandal,” Ebell said.
McCarthy testified under oath to Congress in October 2011 that fuel-economy standards and regulating greenhouse gas emissions are “closely aligned but not related.” Subsequent releases of information reveal McCarthy and the EPA were fully aware – as is everyone else – that regulating greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles is inextricably related to fuel-economy standards. This matters because EPA has statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions but not set CAFE standards for vehicles.
On coal, she told a gathering of industry officials the emissions regulations her office was developing would not require utilities to switch from coal to natural gas in building new power plants, as long as they used best available technology. But the New Source Performance Standards for new power plants released in 2011sets limits natural gas plants can meet but coal plants cannot.
Chris Horner, Senior Fellow at CEI and counsel for its investigation into Jackson’s secret email accounts and efforts to avoid disclosure, said, “There is a real paucity of emails from McCarthy in what we’ve seen so far … so much so it makes one wonder if EPA managed its release of these records with the prospect of her being nominated in mind.
“We know she was Jackson’s chief lieutenant in the ‘war on coal.’ We know she was routinely party to discussions among senior leaders who received emails from the Windsor account. It will be interesting to see if her name appears any more frequently when we receive the next tranche of Richard Windsor emails on Mar. 15.”
“She has, at best, a strained relationship with disclosure and transparency,” said Ebell. “She promised Congress she would deliver additional information during her first confirmation hearing but never did. As assistant administrator, she promised to provide the scientific data and studies EPA has based its new Clean Air Act regulations on, but has not kept her promise. At the very least, the Senate should demand she answer all outstanding questions before it considers her nomination to be EPA Administrator.”
CEI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group that studies the intersection of regulation, risk, and markets. For more about CEI, visit www.cei.org/about-cei.