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[ Pennsylvania’s Need For Strong Leader at EPA ]

There could soon be a new leader guiding policies that help to protect millions of Pennsylvanians from the harmful effects of pollution. Gina McCarthy’s career-long record of working across party lines, as well as with industry and public health advocates alike, was on display Friday during her nomination hearing to head the EPA, in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Stephen Harper is director of environment and energy policy at Intel, and implications of the Clean Air Act raised concerns for the entire semiconductor industry’s ability to expand facilities and build new plants in the U.S.

According to Harper, when the issues were brought up to McCarthy, she listened.

“Gina really drove her staff, and drove us, very hard to find a way to preserve the basic integrity of the permitting program but make it work for the semiconductor industry,” he said.

Harper said McCarthy played a large role in helping them find creative solutions.

“Gina could very easily have taken a hands-off approach,” he declared. “She didn’t, and I think her leadership is why we got the issue solved.”

McCarthy’s work experience includes acting as Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s energy and climate adviser. She was confirmed to her current position by the Senate with bipartisan support.

In her current role as a high-ranking official at the EPA, McCarthy helped implement the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Republicans on the committee, including Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, acknowledged at the hearing that it appeared McCarthy would be confirmed and added that her reputation is that she is data-driven and practical.

Some industry groups and key Republicans have criticized the recent work of McCarthy and others at the EPA, claiming a lack of transparency. They also claim newer emission rules are too strict and will cost jobs.

Source: Keystone State News Connection

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