National Public Radio (NPR) host Scott Simon spoke to former Obama administration Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy, asking what “President Biden” will do to address the alleged threat of climate change.
Simon’s interview also concludes that Republicans will retain control of the Senate as two GOP senators face a runoff election in Georgia.
“Assuming there’s going to be divided power in Washington, what critical climate policies do you believe President Biden should use executive authority to get through?” Simon asked.
“First of all, I think he’s already made it clear that he’s going to reenter the Paris accord right away,” McCarthy said. “And, of course, then you have opportunities to establish standards, like standards for power plant emissions.”
“He’s looking for clean energy in this country by 2035. So that needs to get moving,” McCarthy said. “And we can, you know, basically, at my beloved EPA, make sure that people are in place that care more about the public than they do themselves and that can once again do their job to protect the American people.”
Simon claims President Donald Trump did not keep international promises by removing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord and asked McCarthy how “President Biden” would address that.
“I feel very strongly that even though there has been a lack of effort on the issue of climate change at the federal level, that we have, you know, 29 states that have clean energy standards,” McCarthy said. “We have 300 plus cities that have taken the pledge to meet the climate accord.”
“Clean energy still remains the growth opportunity for us,” McCarthy said. “Given the size of the greenhouse gas emissions that we emit, we certainly have an obligation to jump back in with both feet, with a little bit of deference to all our allies who have been holding the fort.”
Simon asked McCarthy about how a Biden administration would deal with the situation where members of Congress who “deny or discount climate change won millions of votes in this last election.”
McCarthy did not answer directly but claimed Biden, like Obama before him, would embrace policies that would benefit the country and its citizens, even though the Trump administration has made significant advances on the energy front, including making America energy independent.
“You know, I think what I would suggest is that people want jobs,” McCarthy said. “People want fairness. People want to be healthy. And I think the more we can show the value of clean energy, even in your pocketbooks, then people will be much less afraid to recognize that climate change is happening.”
“And they’ll start demanding that folks on the Hill start acting like they do, which is to face reality and to make the kind of change we need,” McCarthy said. “They don’t have to be coded as climate change initiatives. They can be initiatives that grow jobs and grow the economy.”
And even if the election results are still uncertain, Trump’s EPA announced the repeat of a program it started last year to encourage recycling to help the environment.
“[On Monday], U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Wheeler will be hosting a virtual event in celebration of America Recycles Week with an emphasis on on advancing the future of recycling. This year’s 2nd annual Innovation Fair will feature more than 40 exhibitors from across the recycling system showcasing state-of-the-art products, services, outreach, and technologies,” the EPA announcement said.
The America Recycles 2nd Annual Innovation Fair will be live streamed, according to the announcement.
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