The Senate has confirmed President Barack Obama’s pick to head up the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation. The Senate approved Regina McCarthy for the post on June 2 by a voice vote.
The former Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection chief will be responsible for overseeing the development of regulations for powerplant emissions of sulfur, mercury and nitrogen oxide.
McCarthy’s nomination was held up for weeks by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who placed a procedural “hold” on her nomination because of her support for the EPA’s recent finding that greenhouse gases could pose a threat to public health and welfare. Barrasso said that the EPA’s “endangerment” finding could trigger lawsuits. Sen. Barrasso lifted the hold in late May but said he still had reservations about her positions on global warming.
Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.), ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, says that although he had supported Barrasso’s hold on McCarthy’s nomination, he voted in favor of her confirmation because ”I think she possesses the knowledge, experience and temperament to oversee a very important office at EPA. I look forward to working with her on several critical issues facing the agency.”