Gina McCarthy, Top Climate Adviser, Is Said to Be Planning Departure

WASHINGTON – Gina McCarthy, the White House climate adviser, has told people close to her that she is frustrated by the slow pace of climate progress and intends to step down in the coming months, according to several people she knows. talked.

Ms. McCarthy, 67, who has served since the start of the Biden administration, is expected to maintain her position for about a year, friends and colleagues said on Thursday.

President Biden asked her to stay, according to a person familiar with McCarthy’s plan. Others who spoke to her in recent days said Ms McCarthy had denied to them she was leaving and had told associates she had no definite date in mind. Her curator, Ali Zaidi, is expected to succeed.

Ms. McCarthy did not respond to a request for comment on her plans, which was first reported by Reuters. Vedant Patel, a White House spokesman, called the reports “untrue”.

“We have no personnel announcements to make,” Mr. Patel said in a statement. “Gina and her entire team continue to focus on delivering the laser on President Biden’s clean energy agenda.”

Mr. Biden has encouraged Ms. McCarthy, who served as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama, to run her ambitious climate agenda, which calls for cuts to approx. half of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade.

But his plan has stalled in Congress because of unanimous opposition from Republicans as well as from Senator Joe Manchin IIIThe Democrat of West Virginia who represents a key swing vote in the Senate is evenly split.

Separately, Mr. Biden plans to use executive power to enact tough new rules on greenhouse pollution from power plants and cars. can be severely limited by an upcoming decision from the conservative-leaning Supreme Court.

Additionally, the war in Ukraine has sent gas prices soaring, prompting Mr. Biden to take steps that upset climate activists. He issue a record amount of money oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, begged oil companies to drill more and Temporarily relax environmental rules allows gasoline mixed with ethanol to be sold during the summer months, when it is generally banned because it can cause smoke.

Those moves come as a landmark United Nations report released, in which the world’s top scientists warn that time is running out for nations to pivot away from fossil fuels or face a future of climate catastrophe.

One described Ms McCarthy as being in “despised mode” and said she was worried about the political and legal challenges facing the administration’s climate plans. Others said she complained of difficulties traveling and being away from her husband.

However, in public, Ms. McCarthy insisted that she remained optimistic about the possibility that the climate law would be passed this year. At a recent event in Washington, she said she was “not naive” about the challenges but added, “I think we’re going to have a bill that’s going to be implemented this fall.”

While serving in the Obama administration, Ms. McCarthy was the principal architect of the president’s historic and far-reaching climate change policies.

Following the election of Donald J. Trump, Ms. McCarthy became head of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has sued the Trump administration more than 100 times over Trump’s denial of much of Obama’s environmental legacy. .

Under Mr Biden, Ms. McCarthy was tasked with leading a “whole government” approach in which nearly every federal agency enacted new regulations to address climate change. She also hopes to guide Congress through new climate laws that a future president cannot undo, ensuring the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions fall steadily.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs contribution report.

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