Ben Geman writes about the challenging process in store for President Obama's nominee to replace Jackson, who can be expected to be grilled by some Repubican Senators who have made no secret of their dislike of the path the Environmental Protection Agency has taken under Jackson. The U.S. Senate confirms most top-level government position appointments.
"(I)t depends on who the pick is, but I would think it would be fairly rocky given how politicized the GOP has made EPA efforts to implement court-ordered and long-overdue pollution reductions,” (o)ne Senate Democratic aide predicted.
"The White House said EPA Deputy Administrator Robert Perciasepe will take the top job on an “acting” basis, and provided no timeline for announcing a nominee to formally replace Jackson.
Perciasepe is also believed to be under consideration for nomination to the job.
EPA observers say the list of potential nominees could also include Gina McCarthy, the agency’s top air pollution regulator, and Kathleen McGinty, the former head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection.
McCarthy and Perciasepe have already won Senate confirmation. In fact, Perciasepe has won it twice – he was a top air and water quality regulator in President Clinton’s EPA."
Another selection on the short list according to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Wyatt Buchanan is California Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols who "served as Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air and Radiation program under President Clinton" according to her ARB webpage. Gina McCarthy holds that position now.
Buchanan writes that "Nichols would be a controversial pick, as would most any candidate with a strong environmental record. She was rumored to be a finalist four years ago..."
Currently Nichols is overseeing "the implementation of AB32, California's landmark greenhouse gas reduction law."
"Under her leadership, California started a cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (something some in Congress tried and failed to do)." The California program held its first carbon allowance auction on Nov. 14. In Congress, the Waxman-Markey "American Clean Energy and Security Act" that would have established a similar program passed the House of Representatves on June 26, 2009 but failed in the U.S. Senate.