As President-elect Trump’s cabinet begins to take shape, attention has turned to who will replace current EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to lead the agency come January. The next EPA administrator will have a tremendous opportunity to revitalize our energy infrastructure by incorporating our abundance of natural resources, so that the burden of increasingly costly electricity bills can be lifted from the shoulders of American families.
A number of names have been rumored to be in the running, but four contenders seem to be receiving more attention than the rest. They are:
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is likely a familiar name to readers of this blog, and for good reason. He is one of the leading voices in legal efforts challenging President Obama’s costly Power Plan. Additionally, during his tenure, he has worked tirelessly to counter EPA’s legislative overreach.
Kathleen Hartnett White is director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment, a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). Prior to joining TPPF, Kathleen served a six-year term as Chairman and Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the second largest environmental regulatory agency in the world after the U.S. EPA. She too has been a fierce and vocal critic of EPA’s aggressive power grabs, calling on Congress to pass the “Stopping the EPA Overreach Act” as a means of restraining “an imperial EPA.” She is a defender of the use of coal for power, stating in a recent National Review article that it has “long been the mainstay of reliable generation.”
Jeff Holmstead is a partner at the Bracewell law firm, where he heads up the Environmental Strategies Group. Formerly, he served as Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Air and Radiation office under President George W. Bush. Holmstead, one of the nation’s leading climate change lawyers, represented ACCCE in the legal challenge to the Power Plan.
Mike Catanzaro, a lobbyist for CGCN, also worked at EPA under President George W. Bush, serving as associate deputy administrator for the agency. He has also served as associate director for policy for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, as an aide on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and was former House Speaker John Boehner’s energy policy adviser.
These four candidates have a deep understanding of the energy and environmental challenges our country faces today, and perhaps, even more importantly, they all appear to recognize EPA’s role as an non-intrusive enforcement agency confined by law. Rolling back some of the unconstitutional mandates that have been forced on the industry by the previous administration will have far-reaching positive effects on American families and the economy. Regardless of who is named, we look forward to working with the next EPA Administrator – whoever he or she may be – to improve the quality of life of all Americans.