New EPA Chief in Place and in Action

Pretty good news on the new head of EPA, Gina McCarthy.  After having Senate approval of her nomination delayed for a near record 136 days she was voted in last week, and started work.

Ms. McCarthy said Mr. Obama had handed her an epic challenge in his address on climate change at Georgetown University in June. He said that in the face of resistance and inaction in Congress, he would use his executive authority to begin to rein in the emissions that are contributing to global warming. The most meaningful of those powers reside in the E.P.A., which will write regulations governing carbon emissions from power plants, the source of roughly 40 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas pollution.

Under the president’s timetable, the first of those rules, covering new fossil fuel plants, is due Sept. 20. The agency must produce draft standards for existing plants, a vastly more complex and controversial undertaking, by next June.

“We worked with him on the schedule,” Ms. McCarthy said, referring to the president. “He impressed on us how important it was to get started now. He said to get it done, and get it done right.”

NY Times

And though infrastructure catastrophe prevention is not on her particular plate the looming shadows will certainly spur her on.

The nation’s entire energy system is vulnerable to increasingly severe and costly weather events driven by climate change, according to a report from the Department of Energy to be published on Thursday…

The blackouts and other energy disruptions of Hurricane Sandy were just a foretaste, the report says. Every corner of the country’s energy infrastructure — oil wells, hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants — will be stressed in coming years by more intense storms, rising seas, higher temperatures and more frequent droughts.

Energy Infrastructure

and good interactive map

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