EPA’s No. 2 leaving for climate group

Bob Perciasepe, deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will resign next month to lead an energy and climate advocacy group, the agency announced Thursday.

Perciasepe has been the agency’s second-highest official since 2009, but his total tenure at the EPA is 13 years, Administrator Gina McCarthy said in an internal email to staff.

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“With his departure, EPA is losing its longest serving deputy — but more importantly a leader who poured his heart, soul and decades of experience into the agency’s mission every day,” McCarthy said.

Perciasepe often served as the EPA’s most visible representative on Capitol Hill, defending its policies, regulations and employees to lawmakers who were often critical. He was also the agency’s acting administrator for much of the first half of 2013, between Lisa Jackson’s resignation and McCarthy’s Senate confirmation.

Most recently, Perciasepe came to Capitol Hill to testify in front of a House committee and defend the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule, which aims to redefine the federal government’s jurisdiction over streams and lakes.

Previously, Perciasepe was the EPA’s assistant administrator under former President Clinton. Between his EPA stints, he was a top executive at the National Audubon Society.

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), a nonprofit that advocates for policies that help both energy and the fight against climate change, has named Perciasepe as its new president.

“Throughout my career, I’ve worked to bring diverse interests together to protect both our environment and our economy,” Perciasepe said in a statement from C2ES. “I’m eager to continue that work at C2ES at such a critical time, when we have both the opportunity and obligation to forge lasting climate solutions.” 

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