By a vote of 59 in favor of confirmation and 40 opposed, Gina McCarthy has been confirmed as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Despite broad support from bipartisan politicians, industry leaders and environmental advocates, McCarthy, President Barack Obama’s nomination to head EPA, faced significant partisan obstruction since her nomination. McCarthy responded to more than 1,100 questions for the record, nearly four times more than any previous EPA nominee has faced.
Groups as diverse as the Small Business Majority, American Sustainable Business Council, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Growth Energy, Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates, Evangelical Environmental Network, American Public Health Association and American Association of People with Disabilities have come out in support of McCarthy.
“When everyone agrees on the qualifications and quality of the nominee, there is a responsibility to move forward,” said Former Republican Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift before McCarthy was confirmed. “Gina McCarthy has tremendous bipartisan credentials and broad support amongst business leaders, environmental advocates and elected officials.
McCarthy was nominated by President Obama on March 6. McCarthy has been serving as the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation Following the President’s mentions of climate change in his second inaugural and State of the Union addresses, the nomination of Gina McCarthy as EPA administrator was seen by environmental advocates as another indication that the president is serious about prioritizing scientific solutions to environmental, public health and climate challenges.
Before coming to EPA in September 2009, McCarthy served as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and as former Gov. Mitt Romney’s energy and climate advisor in Massachusetts. She McCarthy worked closely with environmental advocates and industry leaders.
“We look forward to Gina’s leadership as the new EPA administrator,” said Stephen Harper, director of Environment and Energy Policy at Intel. He added that her confirmation will “usher in a proven leader who can address the many challenges facing the environment and industry.”