Senate confirms Janet McCabe as deputy EPA chief
The Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Janet McCabe as the No. 2 official at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
McCabe was confirmed in a 52-42 vote, with Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) joining most Democrats to vote for her nomination. Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) was the only Democrat to vote against McCabe’s confirmation.
“Janet McCabe is exactly the leader that Administrator Michael Regan and the EPA need right now,” Senate Environment Committee Chair Tom Carper (D-Del.) said on the Senate floor ahead of the vote. “Janet McCabe is a steady hand who has built a 30-year career of leadership in environmental protection.”
Carper said McCabe has “demonstrated time and again” that “environmental progress and economic progress go hand in hand.”
McCabe served as acting assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation during the Obama administration, where she worked on the Clean Power Plan, a regulation aimed at reducing power plants’ carbon emissions.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee advanced McCabe’s nomination on a largely party-line vote in March, with GOP members citing her work on the Clean Power Plan in explaining their opposition.
During her hearing before the panel earlier in March, Republican senators pressed McCabe on whether she believed the agency has the authority to regulate power plants’ carbon emissions outside the fence line.
“Do you believe that the EPA has the authority to … regulate a power plant’s carbon dioxide emissions outside the fence line as the Clean Power Plan did?” ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) asked in the hearing.
“The Clean Power Plan was one of the most important and impactful rules that we worked on during the Obama administration,” McCabe replied. “We’ve never had a legal ruling on that very question and certainly we would not have put that rule forward if we did not believe we were acting within the four corners of the Clean Air Act.”
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