Monday, March 04, 2013

Obama wants EPA's air chief to head agency, MIT professor who favors fracking to oversee energy

President Obama's nominees for energy secretary and Environmental Protection Agency administrator, being annouin "would play critical roles in Obama's push to address climate change" if confirmed by the Senate, Environment & Energy News reports.

Energy nominee Ernest Moniz, a former undersecretary, is opposed by some environmental groups because he supports the use of fossil fuels and hydraulic fracturing for get oil and gas. He runs an energy program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "which draws funding from industry oil and gas heavyweights like BP, Saudi Aramco and Shell," notes Darren Goode of Politico. "Those ties have drawn opposition to Moniz's nomination from some environmental groups, but probably not enough to threaten his confirmation."

Gina McCarthy, head of EPA's air programs, is Obama's pick to head the agency. "While McCarthy has often sparred with Republican lawmakers at hearings, she also brings a bipartisan background, including stints working for past GOP governors like Mitt Romney," Goode notes. However, E & E notes she "oversaw the development of the agency's highest-profile regulations in Obama's first term," aimed at greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants, and opposed by the coal industry. (Read more)

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