Posted by: Dr Churchill | July 31, 2013

The Sphinx at the head of the EPA has spoken boldly…

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy told an audience at Harvard Law School cutting carbon pollution will “feed the economic agenda of this country.”

She said that charting national environmental policy, is somewhat akin to reconciling competing interests among members of of a noisy family. “It’s not supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to be all the different voices coming together at screaming at the top of their lungs like three children,” she said, saying she would work to “all those voices to be heard and to listen to them. And it’s my obligation to keep peace in the family, whether it’s my EPA one or my little one.”

“Climate change will not be resolved overnight, but it will be engaged over the next three years. That I can promise you.” Gina McCarthy made a full-throated defense of her agency’s right to address greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, detailing how the air quality regulations and brownfield cleanup efforts have produced economic benefits in the United States. “Can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs, please?,” she asked, prompting loud applause.“We need to embrace cutting edge technology as a way to spark business innovation…”

Recalling how EPA had improved the environment across the country—including in Lowell, Mass., where she watched the river run blue, yellow and other colors depending on what dyes the textile mills dumped in the water,–McCarthy said the agency remains committed to making environmental progress. “And frankly, that still is, everywhere. And we’re not going to stop looking at the science. And we’re not going to stop driving for improvements.”  She identified climate change as the agency’s top priority, saying it would model its efforts on the stricter fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks the administration brokered with the auto industry during its first term.

“EPA cannot dictate solutions,” McCarthy said. “We have to engage.”

McCarthy has already been meeting with utility executives and coal industry officials, some of whom fear the administration’s plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing plants will shutter many plants.

During the speech, McCarthy said the agency would also look at matters including water quality and environmental justice, a hallmark issue for her predecessor, Lisa P. Jackson.

“I have no intention of leaving behind environmental justice communities,” she said, adding that they will bear the brunt of climate change. “We need to look at who is not winning in this equation.”

On the question of the Keystone XL pipeline, McCarthy said in an interview that the next time EPA would weigh in on the matter would be once the State Department released its final environmental assessment of the revised project. While she did not indicate what position the agency would take, she noted during his June climate speech the president “sent a very strong signal that climate’s impact would be taken into consideration in this decision, and in others.”

As we recall the President Obama earlier this Summer had this to say:

President Obama said Tuesday he will not approve the Keystone XL pipeline if building it would generate more greenhouse gas emissions than not constructing it, suggesting his administration needed to take much more aggressive steps to fight climate change

Speaking on the steps of a 218-year old building on Georgetown University’s campus, Obama described the new test for Keystone and a slew of climate initiatives as part of his generation’s moral obligation to protect the planet.

“As a president, as a father, I’m here to say we need to act,” he declared, to loud applause from an audience that included college students as well as other supporters. ”I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing.”

Them are some fighting words….

Well Done Mr President — Well Done.

Let’s now fight Tar Sands in their home lands too.

Yours,

Pano

PS:

The lady is like a Sphinx on the Keystone XL pipeline but then again that is a Good Sign….

 


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