GOP senators focus on EPA's long reach, not nominee
WASHINGTON — Even the Republicans who are the most critical of the Environmental Protection Agency had few questions on Thursday about whether Gina McCarthy, President Obama's pick to be the nation's top clean air and water watchdog, has the qualifications for the job. But the agency's regulatory practices got a lashing at McCarthy's Senate confirmation hearing as Democrats and Republicans acknowledged that the agency under her leadership was likely to take the lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the absence of significant congressional action on climate change.
“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our generation,” McCarthy told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Courts have determined that carbon emissions are a pollutant under the Clean Air Act and the agency will pursue regulation of them, she said.
The central functions of the agency have been “obfuscated by ideology,” said Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, the top Republican on the committee.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., argued that tougher emission rules for power plants have stunted the market for domestic coal and said the EPA was failing the country.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, said Barrasso had made it clear that the debate over McCarthy's nomination was less about her qualifications than about how Congress should address climate change. Republicans want to do as little as possible, Sanders said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 1 Marine killed, 9 hurt in helicopter hard landing
- Army fully opens Ranger School to female soldiers
- U.S. Catholics at odds with church, survey finds
- Financial exec gets 8 years for fraud
- World population of trees to people: 422 to 1, team finds
- Judge clears way for revival of NSA wiretap suit
- Sasquatch sighting! Maine police say Bigfoot artist nabbed
- 34th senator signs on to Iran nuclear deal, crumbling GOP’s hopes to override veto
- Clinton: Women ‘expect’ extremism from terrorists, not GOP candidates
- Clerk aims to block Ky. governor’s order
- Obama: Alaska proof of climate change dangers