A year ago, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was on the front lines of a battle over the agency’s climate change policy.
McCarthy was pushing the agency to focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as it faced a looming showdown with Congress over its new climate plan.
Now, as McCarthy heads to Washington, D.C., to negotiate with members of Congress over her agency’s new climate action plan, environmentalists are questioning whether the agency is ready to act.
“They are in a hurry, and I’m not sure they’re really listening,” said Daniel Karpinski, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
“The president and [McCarthy] are trying to pull the wool over their eyes.
The EPA is a huge agency and a big player in the environment.”
It’s not just McCarthy’s job to protect the environment, though.
It’s also McCarthy’s responsibility to help the American public understand what the agency has done to protect them from dangerous climate change.
The White House’s Climate Action Plan for 2025 is a draft document that EPA has been working on for more than a year.
McCarthy’s agency is responsible for crafting the draft for the public.
And the draft is based on a document released in January by the World Bank, which predicts that global temperature will increase by between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.
The World Bank’s draft says that if current trends continue, temperatures could rise as much as 9 degrees by the end of the century.
It’s a scary number.
But the World Climate Report also predicts that by 2050, extreme weather events could increase by 40 percent, and sea level could rise by as much 5 feet by 2100.
It doesn’t look like McCarthy is going to be getting much help from the world’s leading environmental organizations.
Environmentalists have been critical of the draft, and they’ve been pushing her to revise the draft to address their concerns.
“I don’t know that she’s really listening to them,” said Mike Tidwell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Tidwell said he would be “very surprised” if McCarthy were to listen to the NRDC, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
“If she is going forward with the plan, then the world is in trouble,” he said.
McCarney has already been asked to revise her draft climate plan, and in response, she issued a statement saying that she is “committed to working with Congress and the Administration to achieve the goals of this plan and our goals for the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and our climate goals.”
The draft, according to McCarthy’s statement, calls for “a global plan that incorporates the best scientific evidence and will create a climate-resilient, clean energy economy.”
Environmentalists, however, are skeptical that McCarthy is fully listening to their concerns and has yet to revise it.
“The fact that McCarthy hasn’t done this is quite alarming,” said Katherine Mathers, policy director of Conservation Law and Policy at the Natural Society.
Mathers said the EPA has made “a series of false statements about the draft.”
For example, the draft does not explicitly mention the coal industry, which was singled out in the draft by environmental groups.
Mather said the draft did not mention the CO2 emissions that would be created by expanding existing power plants.
She also said the document doesn’t explicitly call for any new regulations on greenhouse gas pollution.
“The draft doesn’t call for more coal-fired power plants,” Mather is quoted in the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft climate report.
“It just doesn’t.
The draft doesn, however,” she said.
“There’s nothing about expanding coal power plants that says that.”
Mather is not alone.
In a January blog post on NRDC’s website, Greenpeace Senior Policy Analyst Jessica Vaughan noted that the draft of the Climate Action plan, which would also include the coal proposal, was “a sham.”
“The proposal that EPA released in February did not include any climate action at all.
It did not even include climate action on coal or any other fossil fuel,” Vaughan wrote.
“In fact, the document explicitly ignores climate action and instead uses the word ‘carbon capture and storage’ to describe a technology that has already demonstrated great promise.”
Mathering said she believes that the EPA will revise the document as soon as it is released.
“They’ll try to make it better,” she told Newsweek.
“But they have already taken a huge step backward.”
The White Trump administration has also signaled that it is ready for the coal lobby to pressure the agency on climate change issues.
In May, the White House announced a new “climate initiative” aimed at encouraging the coal and oil industry to transition away from fossil fuels.
But, it did not explicitly address the climate crisis.
Environmental groups, however , are pushing McCarthy to use her new position to get tough on the