Senate approves McCarthy to head EPA

Senator lifts nomination hold and Gina McCarthy approved as new EPA administrator.

Thursday the Senate confirmed Gina McCarthy to be the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator by a vote of 59-40. The vote was mostly along party lines, although one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.V.) opposed the nomination, while five Republicans voted in favor of the nomination.

McCarthy has served under both Republican and Democrat administrations.

During her nomination hearing McCarthy, who held the No. 2 post under the previous administrator Lisa Jackson, recognized there was a deteriorating relationship between farmers and ranchers and the EPA. "The agency has bridges to build with the farming community," McCarthy told senators at the nomination hearing. She added she looks forward to working with members to change that relationship.

The ethanol industry has been supportive of McCarthy's nomination due to her positive support for the Renewable Fuels Standard. In February as assistant administrator, McCarthy described her excitement in the future of cellulosic biofuels during a climate event held by Georgetown Law, according to Politico. She told attendees that issuing a Renewable Identification Number, or RIN, for cellulosic biofuels was a “personal milestone.”

Tom Buis, chief executive officer of Growth Energy, said, "McCarthy is extremely qualified and is known for her willingness to always examine issues with a fair and open-minded approach—I know that she will continue to serve as a leader and advocate for advancing the Renewable Fuel Standard and other important domestic energy policies.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R., Mo.) had put a hold on her nomination regarding concerns over a floodway project in his state.

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