Senate Confirms Gina McCarthy as EPA Administrator

The Senate confirmed Gina McCarthy, President Obama's pick as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, by a vote of 59 to 40 Thursday.

McCarthy was nominated by Obama in March for the position, but faced months of delay before her confirmation. According to the Washington Post , the Environment and Public Works Committee of the Senate posed 1,100 questions to the nominee, almost all of which were from Republicans.

Before becoming the EPA Administrator, McCarthy worked on "air regulations that have protected public health" in states like Connecticut and Massachusetts. As the head of the EPA, McCarthy says she will work to promote Obama's environmental agenda, which includes a focus on climate change, greenhouse gas regulations, and restrictions on pollution released from power plants and coal mining.

Although McCarthy's confirmation was blocked for 136 days, Obama's nominee apparently "drew a warm reaction from many power industry players, Republicans and state regulators, as well as green groups." Six Republicans voted in favor of McCarthy, and one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin, voted against the confirmation.

"With years of experience at the state and local level, 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...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," Obama said in a statement.