EPA chief: Fighting climate change is top priority

The top priority for the Environmental Protection Agency is "dealing with climate change," according to agency chief Gina McCarthy.

McCarthy kicked off her weeklong climate tour in honor of Earth Day Monday night in New York, where she was a guest on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

ADVERTISEMENT
When questioned on a number of EPA regulations, McCarthy wove one theme throughout each answer: climate change.

"I share the president's priority of dealing with the issue of climate change first and foremost," McCarthy said when asked her top priority for the agency.

When asked if the Obama administration needs to work on convincing those in Congress who are climate skeptics, McCarthy took an aggressive tone in line with President Obama's dubbed "year of action."

"I don't think we do have to convince them it's real," McCarthy said. "We have to take a common-sense approach moving forward. One of the things we are doing in June is, we are doing a carbon pollution standard for power plants."

The EPA says it is on track to release the proposed carbon rule for existing power plants by June. The rule will likely face severe pushback from Republicans.

McCarthy's interview with Stewart is just the beginning of her tour. On Tuesday, McCarthy will be in Boston with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to throw out the first pitch at a Boston Red Sox game.

More in Energy & Environment

EPA head brushes off ‘doomsday’ talk

Read more »