Dems to Obama: Pick EPA chief with ‘vision,’ use ‘available tools’ on climate

“As we confront these numerous and growing threats to our health, our nation needs another strong leader at EPA who will work to craft bold solutions to these serious problems, as well as enforce the Clean Air Act and our other landmark environmental laws that protect public health,” the letter states.

The letter arrives shortly after Obama vowed, in his second inaugural address, to focus on climate change in his second term.

But with major climate legislation highly unlikely to advance in Congress, advocates are urging the White House to move forward with executive actions, including carbon emissions standards for existing power plants.

“We stand ready to work with you to use available tools to provide stronger safeguards that will address dangerous air pollution, including carbon pollution. An effective example has been your administration’s historic new automobile efficiency standards that will save consumers $1.7 trillion in fuel costs over the life of their vehicles,” the letter states.

EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe will take over Jackson position on an acting basis when she departs, and is also among the many names mentioned as a possible nominee for the top job. Click here for a rundown of possibilities.

The letter from the 16 Democrats concludes: “By working together, we can build on your administration’s efforts to promote a strong and robust economy, foster our nation’s global leadership in clean energy innovation and job creation, and reduce the significant harms posed by climate change.”