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Published July 19, 2013, 09:27 AM

Renewable fuels leaders praise confirmation of McCarthy as EPA administrator

Renewable fuels leaders on July 17 praised the Senate confirmation of Gina McCarthy as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, while Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said she still has reservations about EPA policy, but finds McCarthy open and willing to listen. The vote was 59-40.

By: Jerry Hagstrom, Agweek

WASHINGTON — Renewable fuels leaders on July 17 praised the Senate confirmation of Gina McCarthy as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, while Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said she still has reservations about EPA policy, but finds McCarthy open and willing to listen.

The vote was 59-40.

Republicans had delayed McCarthy’s confirmation, but they agreed this week to end debate on the nomination as part of an agreement to avoid changes in the rules regarding the filibuster.

“Ms. McCarthy is extremely qualified and is known for her willingness to always examine issues with a fair and open-minded approach,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “I know that she will continue to serve as a leader and advocate for advancing the Renewable Fuel Standard and other important domestic energy policies.”

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen said, “The RFA and our member companies offer our sincere congratulations to administrator McCarthy on her confirmation. In meeting after meeting over the years, we have always found Gina McCarthy to be approachable and open to dialogue. There is no question that she is a thoughtful, solution-oriented professional who will handle the tough job ahead of her with grace.”

Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs, at the National Biodiesel Board, said McCarthy “knows the intersection of environment and energy issues as well as anyone in the nation. She understands that we must move beyond fossil fuels to meet our objectives on these issues and has demonstrated a practical, balanced approach for doing so, including strong support for the Renewable Fuel Standard. We are thrilled to see her confirmed and believe she will provide outstanding leadership at the EPA.”

Heitkamp said that she continues “to have serious concerns with the EPA,” but added, “I met with Gina and found her straightforward, transparent, willing to discuss and debate the tough issues, and most importantly, open and inclusive when it comes to regulatory issues at the EPA. We won’t agree all of the time — we will probably not see eye to eye very often — but I feel Gina is someone who will provide all stakeholders a seat at the table.”

Heitkamp added, “I let Gina know that their needs to be a path forward for coal in our current and future energy mix.”

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