Tuesday, December 06, 2016

EPA chief: Agency hasn't done enough for rural areas; Congress should OK Obama aid for coalfields

Outgoing Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy acknowledged Monday that the agency hasn't done enough to support rural areas, but also took a shot at Congress for not approving President Obama's proposal for more funds to coal-dependent communities, Jack Fitzpatrick reports for Morning Consult, a Washington D.C.-based research firm. McCarthy told reporters, “I think we have not done as well as we could developing a rural strategy in cooperation with other agencies and certainly have more presence in rural communities."

Despite acknowledging the agency’s shortcomings, "McCarthy said she was proud of the EPA’s controversial work on greenhouse gases, calling the Clean Power Plan 'a signature item for the United States','' Fitzpatrick writes. "She also defended the Obama administration’s attempts to shore up the economy in coal country, where Republicans including President-elect Donald Trump, have blamed environmental regulations for reducing demand for coal."

McCarthy noted that Congress has failed to take up Obama's $3 billion aid package for coal communities affected by his climate-change policies: “I think Congress needs to take that up. If they need to do it in the next administration because they don’t want to call it an Obama initiative, I’m very happy with that.” (Read more)

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