WASHINGTON – White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy has told confidants she has been frustrated by the slow pace of climate progress and plans to resign in the coming months, according to several people she has spoken to. .
Mrs McCarthy, 67, who has served in the Biden administration since the start of the administration, was expected to remain in office for about a year, friends and colleagues said on Thursday.
President Biden asked her to stay, according to Mrs. McCarthy’s plans from a known person. Others who have spoken to her in recent days said Ms McCarthy denied they were leaving imminently and told associates she did not have a set date in mind.
Ms McCarthy did not respond to requests for comment on her plans, which were first reported by Reuters. Vedant Patel, a White House spokesman, called the reports “false.”
Environmental agenda of the Biden administration
President Biden is pushing for tougher regulations, but he faces a narrow path to achieving his goals in the fight against global warming.
“We have no staff announcements to make. Gina and her entire team continue to focus on laser to meet President Biden’s clean energy agenda,” Mr. Patel in a statement.
President Biden called on Ms. McCarthy, who served as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama, to lead her ambitious climate agenda, which calls for a halving of greenhouse gas emissions. the country’s greenhouse effect by the end of this decade.
But his plans have stalled in Congress due to unified opposition from Republicans, as well as West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III and a crucial split vote in the Senate.
Separately, Mr Biden’s plans to use the executive authority to enact harsh new rules on greenhouse gas pollution from power plants and cars could be severely hampered by an upcoming Conservative-leaning Supreme Court ruling .
In addition, the war in Ukraine has exacerbated gasoline prices, prompting Mr Biden to take action that is anathema to climate activists. It launched a record amount of oil from the Strategic Oil Reserve, called on oil and gas companies to go further, and temporarily loosened environmental standards to allow gasoline blended with ethanol to be sold during the summer months. when it is usually banned because it can cause smog.
These moves came as a historic report by the United Nations in which leading scientists around the world warned that the time was running out for nations to move away from fossil fuels or face a future of catastrophe. climate.
One person described Mrs McCarthy as “besieged” and said she was concerned about the political and legal challenges facing the administration’s climate plans. Others said she regretted traveling and being away from her husband for long periods of time.
In public, however, Ms McCarthy has insisted she remains optimistic about the chances of climate legislation being passed this year. At a recent event in Washington, he said he was “not naive” about the challenges, but said: “I think we will have a bill that will be moved this fall.”
While working for the Obama administration, Ms. McCarthy was the chief architect of the president’s historic and far-reaching policies on climate change.
Following the election of former President Donald J. Trump, Ms. McCarthy became head of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which sued the Trump administration more than 100 times, while Mr. Trump was trying to shatter Mr. Obama.
Under Mr. Biden, Ms. McCarthy was tasked with leading a “government-wide” approach in which almost all federal agencies enacted new regulations designed to address climate change. He had also hoped to guide Congress toward passing new climate laws that could not be repealed by a future president, ensuring a steady drop in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.