WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate has confirmed Gina McCarthy’s nomination to be the next Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency without the backing of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.
Senator Manchin voted against McCarthy’s nomination Thursday, making him the only Democrat to oppose Obama’s pick for the post. During a speech before the Senate’s vote, he said his vote had nothing to do with McCarthy.
“My vote against Gina McCarthy is really a vote against the administration’s lack of any serious attempt to develop an energy strategy for America’s future, which we call an all in policy,” he said.
During his speech, Manchin referred to an all in policy that entailed the development of all sources of American made energy.
“Coal, natural gas, nukes, we need renewables, wind, solar, biomass and bio-fuels,” said Manchin. “We need it all and we are responsible to make sure that we find a balance between the economy and the environment.”
This is unlike the all-of-the-above policy Manchin said President Obama speaks of, which he believes will put an end to coal.
“His new global climate proposal amounts to a true declaration of war on one of the above, a true declaration of war on coal,” Manchin said. “In fact the president plans to use the EPA to regulate the coal industry out of existence.”
Despite Manchins comments before the vote, McCarthy won Senate approval by a 59-40 vote. West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller was one of those who voted in favor of McCarthy’s nomination.
Following the vote, President Obama released a statement that said how pleased he was the Senate approved the nomination.
“Gina is a proven leader who knows how to build bipartisan support for commonsense environmental solutions that protect the health and safety of our kids while promoting economic growth,” Obama stated. “I look forward to having her in my Cabinet as we work to slow the effects of climate change and leave a cleaner environment for future generations.”
Manchin told the Senate that even after McCarthy’s nomination, he plans to continue fighting the EPA until they loosen their grip on coal because there is simply too much at stake.
“Coal is America’s most abundant, most reliable and most affordable source of energy,” said Manchin. “In fact coal keeps the lights on providing nearly 40 percent of the electricity in this country.”
Manchin said that all he is looking for is a partnership between the EPA and the coal industry that incorporates a balanced approach so the lights can stay on.