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March 5, 2013 4:00 PM, EST
Obama Names Choices for EPA, Energy

President Obama on Monday named Gina McCarthy as his choice to be the Environmental Protection Agency’s next administrator, and Ernest Moniz to be Energy Secretary.

McCarthy, who has led EPA’s air and radiation office since 2009, also has served in state and local environmental regulatory positions in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Moniz, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was undersecretary of energy under President Bill Clinton.

McCarthy would replace Lisa Jackson, who stepped down in February after serving as EPA Administrator since 2009. Moniz would replace Steven Chu as head of DOE.

Under McCarthy, the air and radiation office wrote and published the first greenhouse-gas emissions limits for heavy-duty vehicles in 2011.

The regulation, which will take effect in phases between model years 2014 and 2018, will reduce heavy vehicles’ carbon dioxide emissions by about 23%.

McCarthy “helped design programs to expand energy efficiency and promote renewable energy,” Obama said in a White House press conference Monday morning.

“As assistant EPA administrator, Gina [has] focused on practical, cost-effective ways to keep our air clean and our economy growing,” the president said. “She’s earned a reputation as a straight shooter [and] welcomes different points of view.”

McCarthy was commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection from 2004 to her EPA appointment. Before that, she worked in a variety of environmental regulation positions in Massachusetts.