Maine environmental groups applaud confirmation of EPA leader; thank Senators Collins & King for their votes

AUGUSTA – Today, Maine environmental groups praised U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King for voting to confirm Gina McCarthy as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.  Ms. McCarthy was confirmed to the Administrator post by a vote of 59-40.

“Today, Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King stood up for clean air and public health by voting to confirm Gina McCarthy as the new Administrator of the EPA,” said Maureen Drouin, Executive Director of Maine Conservation Voters.  “Ms. McCarthy is an excellent choice to head the EPA, as demonstrated by her years of experience working under Democratic and Republican governors and by the broad support she has garnered from business leaders, environmental advocates, and politicians on both sides of the aisle.”

“McCarthy is an outstanding and professional public official who has demonstrated her leadership in protecting the environment while working for bipartisan administrations,” stated Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director of NRCM. “We applaud Maine’s Senators for their votes to confirm Ms. McCarthy, a historic leader on clean air standards. Their support clears the way for McCarthy to carry out the President’s plan to tackle the biggest clean air challenge we face: climate change pollution from power plants.”

In June, President Obama announced a sweeping plan to tackle climate change, the heart of which would be Clean Air Act standards for new and existing power plants that would limit the amount of global warming pollution.

McCarthy has demonstrated a strong commitment to our environment, especially on air pollution, leading the EPA’s Clean Air division as it issued the first ever limits on mercury, a toxin that harms not only people but fish and wildlife like eagles and loons. She led the EPA’s development of historic clean air protections, including: the first ever proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants; the first carbon limits for vehicles; as well as lifesaving updates of standards that limit deadly soot, mercury and other toxic pollution.

"Today's vote to approve the nomination of Gina McCarthy as EPA Chief is an important step forward to implementing President Obama's ambitious plan to reduce global warming pollution from existing power plants," said Glen Brand, Sierra Club Maine Chapter Director.  "I'm proud of Senators Collins and King for helping to break the political logjam in the Senate and voting for Ms. McCarthy to lead our EPA."

In addition to her environmental credentials, McCarthy earned the trust of many in industry. She worked as MA Governor Mitt Romney’s energy and climate advisor, and under former CT Republican Governor Jody Rell.