But the state of Connecticut also sued the Bush administration for a limit on ground-level ozone, the primary ingredient in smog, which McCarthy believed was too weak. That standard is still in place, thanks to a decision by Obama to stall the fast-tracking of a stricter smog limit that had been drafted by McCarthy’s division at EPA.
Environmentalists praised the nomination on Monday, stressing her pragmatic approach to solving environmental problems and her ability to work with both parties.
Former Obama climate adviser and Clinton EPA administrator Carol Browner said in an interview that McCarthy has ‘‘a good understanding what the president needs to do, wants to do on climate change, which is to find the sweet spot for everyone, from the environmentalists to the states to companies.’’
But conservatives immediately stressed her role in what they view would as destructive policies from EPA.
‘‘McCarthy will continue the regulatory attack on oil, coal and natural gas with the result that Americans will experience increasing energy costs and high unemployment rates,’’ said Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, a conservative think tank that receives some support from the fossil fuel industry.
Moniz, 68, was a former Energy Department undersecretary under Clinton. He’s advised Obama on numerous energy topics, including how to handle the country’s nuclear waste and the natural gas produced by the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing.
Environmental groups are wary of Moniz, because of his support of natural gas and nuclear power. His MIT Energy Initiative has received funding from oil companies such as BP, Shell and Chevron.
Burwell is Washington veteran, having served in several posts during the Clinton administration, including deputy OMB director. She currently heads the Wal-Mart Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the retail giant, and previously served as president of the Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program.
Associated Press writers Matthew Daly and Julie Pace contributed to this report.
Follow Dina Cappiello’s environment coverage on Twitter (at)dinacappiello