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EPA Nomination: Both Sides say Putting Aside Politics is the Right Choice

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Thursday, a Senate committee backed the nomination of Gina McCarthy along party lines, a week after Republicans boycotted a scheduled hearing on the matter.
Thursday, a Senate committee backed the nomination of Gina McCarthy along party lines, a week after Republicans boycotted a scheduled hearing on the matter.
May 17, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The controversy surrounding the nomination of President Barack Obama's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency has individuals from both sides of the aisle saying good governance should trump politics.

Thursday, a Senate committee backed the nomination of Gina McCarthy along party lines, a week after Republicans boycotted a scheduled hearing on the matter.

McCarthy served five Republican governors, including former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, who says McCarthy’s work on clean air regulations focused on process and outcomes, not politics.

"She makes sure that the business community is heard and they have a legitimate position,” Swift says. “She listens to legislators and she gets the job done in a bipartisan way, and to me, we need more of that in Washington right now."

Efforts by Republicans to stall the nomination had focused on the EPA's policies rather than McCarthy herself. The nomination now moves to the full Senate, but there's no word on when the vote will be held.

David Green, president of the Lordstown chapter of the United Auto Workers, says fuel standards put into place while McCarthy worked at the EPA are putting people to work in Ohio. He says there’s a need for leaders who support a stronger focus on the environment, because a good environment is also good for the economy.

"It's what people want and there's a stronger focus on our environment today than there ever has been,” he says. “I think it's only going to increase as time goes on. So, that's the right thing, is to have the proper people in place."

As assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, McCarthy worked on new policies that will nearly double the fuel economy of new cars and light trucks and cut carbon pollution of vehicles in half by 2025.

Swift was disappointed by the Republican boycott last week. She says both McCarthy and the president deserve an up or down vote on the confirmation before the full Senate.

Swift points out that it was a Republican president who established the EPA, because both parties understood the importance of cleaning up and protecting the air, water and land.

"Protecting the health of Americans,” she says, “is frankly, and should be always, an issue of good governance not an issue of partisanship and political point-scoring."


Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH