Gina McCarthy, who led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency between 2013 and 2017 under President Barack Obama, has signed on as president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an organization that has amassed an impressive record of wins in the nearly 100 environmental lawsuits it has launched against the Trump administration.
“I really didn’t want to sit on the sidelines,” McCarthy told the Washington Post, “so the question was where to go.” She added that the Trump White House “is trying to undo not only fundamental protections that have been in place under multiple administrations, but it’s undermining the science and the work of scientists to protect the environment and the public.”
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“McCarthy, who served as the EPA’s air policy chief for four years before becoming administrator, helped craft many of the landmark climate policies that the current administration is unraveling,” including the 2015 Paris Agreement, the Post writes. Now, “she’s particularly concerned about policies aimed at limiting the kind of scientific studies that can be used in rulemaking and those that change the makeup of scientific advisory boards, as well as plans to relocate agencies outside Washington.”
“It’s not as much about the rollbacks, but it’s diminishing the capacity of federal agencies to do their job,” McCarthy said.
Since Trump entered the White House, NRDC has emerged as “one of the most aggressive groups” challenging his climate and environmental deregulation, the Post states. “It has sued the federal government 96 times on issues such as endangered species, energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs, and more. According to the group, it has won 54 of the 59 cases that have been resolved so far.”
[Disclosure: The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer has worked as a consultant for NRDC since 2015.]
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