It's Past Time to Confirm EPA Chief Nominee Gina McCarthy
Patience is wearing thin.
For more than three months, Gina McCarthy, President Obama's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, has been stuck in limbo due to procedural stalling tactics in the Senate. That's why the Sierra Club has released two ads that target specific senators, asking them to be a part of the solution and support Gina McCarthy. The ads, released in Arizona and Ohio, call on supporters of clean air and water to contact their senators and ask them to end the gridlock in Washington by moving forward with Gina McCarthy's confirmation.
Lack of progress in the Senate is nothing new. But this is starting to get ridiculous. We've been without an EPA administrator for 140 days, over a month longer than the previous record for a vacancy at this position. There's no disputing her qualifications: For 25 years, she has worked with both sides of the aisle on environmental issues, advising several governors in Connecticut and Massachusetts, including Mitt Romney. Gina McCarthy is smart, qualified, bi-partisan, and would be a true asset in the movement for real leadership on climate in Washington, D.C.
The Senate's inaction on her nomination has nothing to do with Gina McCarthy's qualifications; it is simply a reflection of Republican stall tactics in the Senate. As a result of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy of obstruction and inaction, GOP senators are blocking nearly everything the president is trying to accomplish. Two months ago, in an embarrassing display of politics at its worst, eight GOP members of the Senate Committee for Environment and Public Works purposely skipped McCarthy's hearing, further delaying a confirmation vote.
The only ones who benefit from this political circus are big polluters. Having a strong EPA leader helps hold coal and oil companies accountable and will ensure that we can preserve existing safeguards that protect families and communities. Send a message to the Senate to stop the delay and demand an up-or-down vote for Gina McCarthy.
-- Mary Anne Hitt, Beyond Coal Director