New Leadership at EPA Up in the Air

It’s generally considered that the Environmental Protection Agency under administrator Lisa Jackson was not the farmer’s friend. Jackson resigned her post early this year, and one of her assistants, Gina McCarthy has been nominated to fill her seat as head of the agency. Recently at National Association of Farm Broadcaster’s Washington Watch event on Capitol Hill, former Secretary of Agriculture now US Senator from Nebraska, Mike Johanns spoke to broadcasters about the future of EPA’s leadership:

“The confirmation process for Gina McCarthy and the committee and Senate rules provide that you have to have at least two Republicans in the room. The member of the EPA committee are not happy with the response. But they have not been forthcoming with information. The Republicans said that until they get the info they requested, they will not confirm her.”

In fact, Johanns doesn’t see McCarthy’s confirmation as head of EPA as a forgone conclusion:

“Some might have argued that a few weeks ago it was a forgone conclusion, but I don’t think that’s the case. Gina McCarthy troubles me a great deal. Lisa Jackson was very difficult to work with. I understand a difference in philosophy, the Obama Administration epitomizes that. They will probably not appoint people that I would bless. But on the other hand, I expect some degree of cooperation. This group is the most uncooperative bunch in the federal government.”

As far as reversing some of the unfriendly to agriculture edicts out of EPA and other agencies in the first Obama administration, Johanns had these thoughts:

“I think this administration is limping along. The first few years they had 60 in the Senate and the majority of the House, and they could pass anything they could get their side to agree on.”

US Senator from Nebraska, Mike Johanns.


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