Last week, the U.S. Senate confirmed Gina McCarthy, an administrator in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to succeed Lisa Jackson as the head of the agency. Her appointment follows an extended fight between Senate Republicans and President Obama over her nomination, which was delayed because of opposition over how best to confront climate change and promote renewable energy infrastructure.
McCarthy, a Boston native, will be taking over the EPA at a time when its attention is devoted almost singularly to the goal of mitigating the disastrous effects of climate change. A 2007 Supreme Court ruling stated that greenhouse gases qualified as a pollutant, and that therefore the Agency had the authority to regulate emissions. Because legislative solutions to the problem have been slow to materialize due to political opposition, President Obama is seeking to use executive power through his cabinet departments to make an impact on the problem.
McCarthy will be in an extremely important position, as she'll be able to dictate rules and regulations regarding things like coal plant emissions, automobile mileage standards and other measures that are meant to combat climate change.
According to The Hill, a political news site, McCarthy delivered a welcome message and remarks to EPA employees in a video after her appointment.
"This agency has the courage to act. We can make it happen — but we need all hands on deck," McCarthy said. "Together we can and we will rise to today's challenges, working as one EPA."