Environmentalists are hailing President Obama's choice of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency, partly based on work she did here in New England.
Gina McCarthy helped set up a groundbreaking cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emissions as the chairwoman of Connecticut's Department of Environmental Protection. Roger Reynolds is an attorney with the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. "And that's been very successful in moving ahead where the federal government has not. She was very much a leader and made Connecticut a leader in that." "And when she came to Connecticut, this was 2004, she said the debate over climate change is over. I'm not interested in having that. The debate now is what are we gonna do about it?" McCarthy is seen as a tough bi-partisan regulator who worked in Governor Jodi Rell's administration and later for then Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. She helped set automobile regulations as head of the EPA's office of Air and Radiation. Kate Sheppard covers environmental issues for the news organization Mother Jones. She was a guest on WNPR's Where We Live. "Almost all of the toughest regulations that have come out in the last four years have come from the office of air and regulation that Gina McCarthy was running. That includes new regulations on soot, on mercury pollution, on sulfur dioxide pollution. And most prominently, new regulations on greenhouse gasses from coal fire power plants." President Obama outlined aggressive clean energy plans last month during his state of the union address that included additional regulations for new and existing polluters. Environmental groups are hoping McCarthy will be the one to get it done for him.