Energy & Environment

Former Obama EPA chief: Trump approach is ‘extremely disappointing’


Former President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency administrator says she’s worried about the Trump administration’s approach to her former agency.

“The signs I’m seeing now are extremely disappointing,” Gina McCarthy said in a Boston Globe interview published late Tuesday, her first interview since leaving the agency.

According to the Globe, McCarthy is concerned about the public communications freeze at the EPA, as well as a regulations halt instituted by the Trump administration last month.

{mosads}She’s also worried about a proposal — disputed by the Trump team last week — to have political appointees review science conducted at the agency. 

“The implication that political people would have to review the science before it was articulated is disturbing. If the science changes because of politics, that’s not science,” she told the Globe.

“They were calling the EPA’s science — which is considered the gold standard around the world — junk. They didn’t come in to understand it. If you add up all those things, it doesn’t sound normal to me. It’s disturbing.”

Trump’s transition team for the EPA did not meet with McCarthy before she left the agency, she said, and she hasn’t met with Trump’s nominee to lead the agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. 

The Trump team has insisted it hasn’t nailed down plans for the agency yet, including funding or staffing levels that were reportedly in the crosshairs for transition advisers.

“I cannot tell you today what the final decisions from the White House, from our new administrator, and from the Congress will be,” Don Benton, a senior White House adviser for the EPA transition team, wrote in an internal email this week obtained by The Hill. 

“I can tell you that despite what you read and see on TV, no final decisions have been made with regard to the EPA.”

Tags Barack Obama Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy

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