Obama's EPA Nominee Vowed Not 'To Sit Around and Wait for Congressional Action'

By Joe Schoffstall | March 4, 2013 | 11:48am EST

President Barack Obama on Monday nominated Gina McCarthy to replace Lisa Jackson as Environmental Protection Agency administrator.

McCarthy, who currently heads the EPA's air and radiation office, has vowed "not to sit around and wait for congressional action" when issuing environmental regulations.

On May 1, 2010, in the keynote address for the Green Education Celebration at University of Massachusetts in Boston, McCarthy said she did not go to Washington to wait for congressional action and she said she did not intend to do so in the future.

"I love listening to Sen. Kerry. I love listening to Congressman Markey, because they talk funny and they talk real," said McCarthy. "They tell it like it is and they make things happen. I am so proud that we have them in office so they can push us to face reality that one needs to face and to move forward with legislation that is absolutely essential.

"But I will tell you that I didn't go to Washington to sit around and wait for Congressional action. Never done that before, and don't plan to in the future," said McCarthy.

"EPA's Administrator Lisa Jackson didn't sit around so that she could look at the law and decide it was inconvenient to follow it. Or listen to the science and say, 'You know, that might get me into trouble, so I ain't going where the science tells me,'" said McCarthy. "What she actually said when she got there is that I'm going to listen to the law and I'm going where science is driving us, and that is why the EPA put forward just last December what we call the endangerment finding."

McCarthy suggested that the volume of lawsuits against the move is a sign that the EPA is on the right track. And, she said the EPA has a legal mandate to regulate - and it'll do so with, or without, Congress:

"Now, it doesn't sound that exciting. But I will tell you that 320,000 people felt the need to comment at the time, and since we passed it, 15 entities have decided they want to sue us about it, so it must be pretty cool. It actually is a statement the administrator made that said, 'You know, carbon dioxide and all these greenhouse gasses actually do pose a danger to public health and welfare under the Clean Air Act,' and lo and behold, we're required under law to regulate it. That is, indeed, what we are going to do whether Congress moves forward or -and- whether it doesn't."

"As a result of that we moved forward swiftly. The first thing we did was meet President Obama's promise to have clean cars on the road. It is called the light-duty vehicle. It is going to bring and move forward the next generation of clean cars. It is going to increase fuel economy up to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, and the most interesting part about it is you're going to save money. How death-defying is that? How dare the Environmental Protection Agency put out rules that are good for us! You are actually going to save $3,000 in fuel savings over the life of the car, even considering any increased cost to make that car."

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