As the Senate prepares to scrutinize the qualifications of Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s nominee to head up the EPA, there are a few questions that need to be put front and center.
1. Do the recent innovations and advances with regard to clean coal technology complicate proposals to set different standards for coal-fired and natural gas-fired power plants? Carbon capture technology appears to be accelerating at a fast clip, according to new research.
2. Does the nominee favor the introduction of new source performance standard (NSPS) regulations in their current form? Why or why not? Does she expect that in their current form, NSPS regulations would effectively ban the construction of all new coal-fired power plants? This is the conclusion reached by various attorneys who have scrutinized proposed NSPS regulations.
3. There are prominent figures in both parties who have been critical of the EPA and its penchant for excessive regulation. What does the nominee think of the criticisms Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana have directed toward the agency?
4. Does the nominee share the views expressed by Ernest Moniz, President Obama’s nominee to head the Energy Department? Moniz views coal as being critical to the challenge of meeting the world’s needs for both more electricity and less pollution. For that matter, how does she feel about Moniz’s views on nuclear power? His positions are summarized here.
5. Does the nominee favor a federal regulation on the process of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), which has been used to access natural gas? Does she agree with her predecessor Lisa Jackson who says that fracking can be done safety and effectively?
Those are just a few to get started, more coming.