Enviros Cheer Obama EPA Pick

<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=gina+mccarthy&title=Special%3ASearch">Official EPA portrait</a>/Wikimedia Commons

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On Monday, President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Gina McCarthy as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency—a promotion for the deputy who has been behind some of the toughest new environmental regulations in the past four years.

As the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, McCarthy has helped implement a raft of new or improved national standards for pollutants such as mercury, sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions, and soot, and she oversaw the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants.

“Every American is—or will soon be—breathing cleaner air because of McCarthy,” says Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch.

Her appointment to the top spot at EPA is seen by enviros as good news for the future of greenhouse gas regulations. After rolling out emission limits for new power plants last year, the EPA is now expected to set rules for existing power plants—a huge task given the number of old, dirty plants around the country. That’s just one item on a long list of environmental regulations that were delayed until after the 2012 election. Now McCarthy will manage the implementation and/or drafting of these regs.

Another reason enviros are cheering McCarthy’s appointment is her bipartisan history. Before coming to the EPA, McCarthy worked for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as his undersecretary for environmental policy. After that, she worked for Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell, another Republican. “McCarthy’s stellar work under two Republican governors as well as her excellent work over the past four years at the EPA is proof that when it comes to protecting our health and environment, it isn’t about who you work for or what party you represent,” says Margie Alt, executive director for Environment America. “It’s about whether you can get the job done. And Gina McCarthy can get the job done.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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