Janet McCabe, a deputy administrator at the EPA’s clean-air office, is expected to be nominated to head the division, a position that would put her at the center of President Obama’s controversial climate change plan, the National Journal reports.
As head of the Office of Air and Radiation, McCabe would be responsible for drafting sweeping new pollution laws to restrict carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. An EPA spokesman would not confirm whether Obama plans to nominate McCabe.
The clean-air position was vacated by Gina McCarthy, who was confirmed last month as EPA’s new chief. McCabe was named acting director of the federal agency’s Office of Air and Radiation after McCarthy left to take the top EPA job.
If nominated and then confirmed, McCabe will have to navigate a host of political and legal hurdles as she crafts climate rules that will place further restrictions on the country’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. McCabe, a former state regulator and head of a children’s environmental-health advocacy organization, would not only draft the rules, but work with the businesses and people affected by those new laws.
In June, Obama unveiled a climate plan that calls for limits on carbon emissions, a reduction of other potent greenhouse gases, including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and methane, increased investment in renewable energy and cleaner-burning fuels for transportation.
The White House also plans to set efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings that will cut carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons by 2030 — equivalent to about half of the carbon pollution from the US energy sector for one year.