If confirmed, one of McCarthy’s challenges will be to determine the EPA’s path forward on carbon pollution regulations.
EPA has proposed standards for new power plants that would effectively prevent construction of new coal-fired facilities without the capability to capture and store carbon dioxide. Environmentalists expect her to finalize those rules and then move to emissions from existing power plants. But industry stakeholders argue that the Clean Air Act does not offer a clear-cut way for EPA to clean up the dirtiest plants beyond requiring more efficiency.
Obama made it clear Monday that McCarthy and Moniz will concentrate on compelling the country to innovate an economy that runs on cleaner forms of energy. Just how they will do that remains to be seen.
“These two over here, they’re going to be making sure that we’re investing in American energy, that we’re doing everything that we can to combat the threat of climate change, that we’re going to be creating jobs and economic opportunity in the first place,” the president said, pointing to his nominees. “They are going to be a great team. And these are some of my top priorities going forward.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.