Gina McCarthy

  • Aired:  04/21/14
  •  | Views: 36,464

EPA administrator Gina McCarthy shares her goals for implementing effective climate change policy. (7:20)

>> Jon: MY GUEST TONIGHT THEADMINISTRATOR OF THE

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY,PLEASE WELCOME GINA MCCARTHY!

[ APPLAUSE ]>> Jon: COME AND SIT.

>> THANK YOU.

[ APPLAUSE ]>> Jon: WELCOME TO THE

PROGRAM.

FIRST OF ALL AS A BOSTONIAN, ISAY TO YOU CONGRATULATIONS ON A

BEAUTIFUL MARATHON TODAY.

BEAUTIFULLY DONE.

VERY JOYOUS, REALLY LOVELY.

>> THANK YOU.

BOSTON PROUD.

>> Jon: YES.

REALLY WELL DONE.

[ APPLAUSE ]>> BOSTON STRONG.

>> Jon: IT WAS EXCELLENT. IWAS GOING TO RUN IN IT, BUT THEN

I REMEMBERED I AM DECREPIT.

>> I KNEW THAT BEFORE THE RACESTARTED

>> Jon: YOU ARE VERYKIND.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THENEW POSITION?

>> OH, JUST ABOUT SIX, SEVENMONTHS.

>> Jon: AND ARE WE CLEAN YET? THE HAIR, THE WATER?

>> HUGE, HUGE MOVEMENT FORWARDSINCE I STARTED, YES.

>> Jon: TREMENDOUS.

>> YES.

>> Jon: WHAT IS FOR YOUSTEPPING IN WHAT IS YOUR

PRIORITY?

>> WELL, I SHARE THE PRESIDENT'SPRIORITY OF DEALING WITH THE

ISSUE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, FIRSTAND FOREMOST.

>> Jon: NOW, SEE, THAT IS THEFIRST PART OF THAT ISSUE GETTING

OVER HALF THE CONGRESS TO ADMITTHAT IT IS HAPPENING?

>> ACTUALLY, WE TRIED THATFIRST.

>> Jon: HOW DID THAT GO?

>> NOT WELL, NOT WELL.

NOT WELL.

ACTUALLY, THE PRESIDENT, WHAT ISGREAT EVEN BEFORE I STARTED THE

JOB HE PUT OUT A CLIMATE ACTIONPLAN AND WHAT HE SAID WAS THE

ADMINISTRATION IS GOING TO TAKEACTION, WE ARE NOT WAITING FOR

CLIMATE.

HE SAW IT AS PART OF THELEADERSHIP THE PRESIDENT HAS TO

BRING TO THE COUNTRY AND HE ALSOIS LOOKING AT I THINK AS A

FATHER OF TWO BEAUTIFUL CHILDRENAND HE STOOD UP AND SAID IT IS A

MORAL OBLIGATION.

I AGREE WITH HIM.

WE HAVE GOT TO FIGHT FOR THENEXT GENERATION.

>> Jon: BUT WHAT WOULD -- WHATWOULD DO IT? YOU KNOW, WE HAVE

TO FIGHT FOR IT.

IF YOU TALKED TO THE FOSSIL FUELCOMPANIES THEY WOULD SAY, ANY

TYPE OF RESTRICTION ON WHAT THEYDO WOULD LEAD US TO AN ECONOMIC

APOCALYPSE. IF YOU TALKED TO THESCIENTISTS THEY SAY BY NOT DOING

IT WE WILL HAVE A CLIMATEAPOCALYPSE.

I GUESS MY QUESTION IS, WHICHAPOCALYPSE SHOULD I PREPARE FOR?

BECAUSE I AM CLEARLY TRAPPEDBETWEEN TWO APOCALYPSES.

>> IT'S A TOUGH CHOICE.WELL, I THINK THEY HAVE TO LOOK

AT THE HISTORY. EPAHAS BEEN AROUND FOR 40 YEARS

AND WE'VE FIGURED OUT AWAY TO AVOID APOCALYPSES.

WE'VE CLEANED UP THE AIR, 70PERCENT IN OUR AIR

POLLUTION WHILE WE DOUBLED THEGDP, SO IT CAN BE DONE AND WITH

CLIMATE WE HAVE TO MOVE FORWARDIN A COMMON SENSE WAY. LOTS ARE

DOING IT THOUGH. TAKE ALOOK AT WHAT THE

PRESIDENT DID INHIS LIGHT DUTY VEHICLE RULE --

>> Jon: OH, THAT'S ALL IDO IS SIT LOOKING

AT WHAT THE PRESIDENT DID INHIS WHATEVER THAT THING IS.

>> YOU SHOULD. I'M SURE YOUDRIVE AROUND IN FUEL EFFICIENTCARS.

>> Jon: THAT'S WHAT I AMDOING.

I HAVE WHAT YOU CALL A NESTINGHUMMER.

A HUMMER INSIDE A HUMMER INSIDEA HUMMER.

>> SOUNDS RUSSIAN.

>> Jon: IT IS! IT IS!

>> IT MIGHT NOT BE RUSSIANS,THOUGH.

>> Jon: IT'S TRUE.

>> HE DOUBLED THE FUEL ECONOMYBY 20-25, THAT LOWERED

SIGNIFICANTLY GREENHOUSE GASEMISSIONS FROM MOBILE SOURCES

AND AT THE SAME TIME YOU WILLGET MORE FUEL EFFICIENT

VEHICLES AND THE CAR COMPANIESDIDN'T DIE.

>> Jon: BUT WE ARE A FOSSIL FUELECONOMY. I DON'T THINK THERE

IS ANY QUESTION WE ARE A FOSSILFUEL ECONOMY.

AND ALL OF THESE REGULATIONS PUTTHE MOM AND POP

OIL COMPANIES OUT OF BUSINESS.

THAT DIDN'T COME OUT RIGHT.

YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKINGABOUT. YOU KNOW, IF YOU HAD YOUR

DRUTHERS, LET'S SAY YOU GUYS, ITWASN'T POLITICAL,

YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO CONVINCE HALFTHE CONGRESS THIS IS REAL, WHAT

WOULD YOU DO?

>> I DON'T THINK WE DOHAVE TO CONVINCE THEM IT IS

REAL. I MEAN, THE SCIENTISTSTELL US IT IS REAL.

WHAT WE ARE ACTUALLY TRYING TODO IS TAKE COMMON SENSE STEPS IN

MOVING FORWARD.

ONE OF THE THINGS WE ARE DOINGIN JUNE IS WE ARE DOING A CARBON

POLLUTION STANDARD FOR POWERPLANTS.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> THE POWER PLANTS ARE THEBIGGEST SOURCE OF GREENHOUSE

GASES.

>> Jon: IS THERE NO CARBONPOLLUTION STANDARD FOR THEM

PRESENTLY.

>> THERE ISN'T. THERE'S ASTANDARD ON MOST OTHER

POLLUTION, BUT THERE ISNOT A STANDARD ON CARBON,

AND WE THINK CARBON IS JUST ASIMPORTANT AS MERCURY AND NOX

AND SULFUR AND SO WE ARE GOINGTO GO FOR IT.

>> Jon: WHAT IS THE OUTPUT NOWAND WHAT IS THE STANDARD YOU

WOULD LIKE IT TO BE? WHAT IS THEDIFFERENTIAL?

JUST BECAUSE, AND I AM JUSTSPEAKING

FOR A FRIEND, IT IS NOT LIKE IBURN THINGS IN MY BACKYARD.

I AM JUST CURIOUS, HOW MUCH ISTHERE NOW AND HOW MUCH ARE WE

LOOKING AT?

>> WE ARE GOING TO REGULATE ITUNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT AND IT

TELLS US WE HAVE TO TAKE STEPSFORWARD TO REDUCE IT.

WE ARE GOING TO TAKE A LOOK ATWHAT WE NEED TO DO AND WE ARE

GOING TO MAKE IT FLEXIBLE, YOUARE GOING TO GET SOME

SIGNIFICANT GREENHOUSE GASREDUCTIONS OUT OF IT.

REALLY YOU CAN DO THIS. STATESAND COMMUNITIES HAVE BEEN

REDUCING THEIR GREENHOUSE GASEMISSIONS FOR A LONG TIME.

WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT TAKINGANY FUEL OUT OF THE SYSTEM.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> WE ARE TALKING ABOUT MAKINGTHINGS MORE EFFICIENT.

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT INVESTMENTSIN EFFICIENCY.

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT RENEWABLEENERGY AND TALKING ABOUT A

FUTURE THAT IS ACTUALLY LOOKSPRETTY GOOD.

>> Jon: BUT THAT SEEMS LIKE MUCHMORE OF A WINNING ARGUMENT. THIS

IS ABOUT EFFICIENCY AND ABOUTCREATING ENERGY IN A BETTER WAY

BECAUSE I THINK IF YOU SAY TOTHESE COMPANIES WE DON'T WANT TO

POLLUTE WITH CARBON THEY WILLSAY WHAT ABOUT, WHAT ABOUT

CHINA'S ECONOMY? WHAT ABOUTINDIA'S ECONOMY? WHAT ABOUT

THESE GROWING, YOU KNOW, WE GOTOURS IN THE INDUSTRIAL

REVOLUTION, WHAT ABOUT THESECOUNTRIES THAT ARE NOW BUILDING

THEIR MIDDLE CLASSES AND WHATABOUT STATES LIKE TEXAS THAT

DON'T LISTEN?

>> ACTUALLY --[LAUGHTER.]

>> WE ARE ACTUALLY NOT TALKINGABOUT GOING BACKWARDS.

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT POSITIONINGTHE U.S. FOR THE FUTURE, AS WELL

AS THOSE COMPANIES.

THEY KNOW THEY CAN INVEST INRENEWABLE ENERGY AND KNOW THEY

CAN MAKE IT WORK IN AN ENERGYMIX AND SO OUR JOB REALLY IS TO

TRY TO DRIVE THOSE REDUCTIONSNATIONALLY BUT TO MAKE SURE

EVERY STATE IS DIFFERENTLYPOSITIONED.

SOME HAVE ALREADY DONE REALLYAGGRESSIVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY

WORK AND YOU KNOW WHAT, THEY CANDO A WHOLE LOT MORE.

>> Jon: BUT HOW MUCH IS THEPOLITICS OF IT, EVEN WITH THE

BOILER RULES THEY HAD,THEY MADE A BIG DEAL ABOUT

IT WOULD SAVE 6,000 LIVES --

>> YOU KNEW BOILER RULE AND YOUDIDN'T KNOW LIGHT DUTY VEHICLE?

>> Jon: I KNEW BUT I THOUGHTIT WAS FUNNY IF THEY STEP IN.

AND IT IS A THING I DO,OH, LOOK AT ME. THE BOILER RULEYOU

SAVE 6,000 LIVES THEY COME UPWITH A STANDARD, WHAT IS IT IN

FEBRUARY 2011 BUT THEY DON'TIMPLEMENT IT UNTIL AFTER THE

ELECTION, WASHINGTON POST WRITESAN ARTICLE THIS IS POLITICAL

PRESSURE, THEY SAY, I MEAN, HOWMUCH OF THAT IS REAL?

>> THE TIMELINE IN THE RULE ISSET IN STATUTE.

>> Jon: I MEAN WHEN IT GETSIMPLEMENTED.

I KNOW IT IS IN THE STATUTE.

>> THAT IS WHAT IS IN THESTATUTE IS WHEN IT NEEDS TO BE

IMPLEMENTED SO NONE OF THIS ISFOLLOWING POLITICS.

>> Jon: I SEE.

>> IT IS FOLLOWING, I HOPE AND ITHINK, WHAT IS BEST FOR AMERICA.

AND IF WE DON'T START DEALINGWITH CLIMATE CHANGE WHICH IS THE

BIGGEST PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGETHAT WE FACE, AS WELL AS THE

BIGGEST ECONOMIC CHALLENGE WEFACE, AND THINK OF IT BOTH FROM

AN ENVIRONMENTAL AND AN ECONOMICSTANDPOINT, THEN I THINK WE ARE

LOSING FOR THE NEXT GENERATIONAND OUR OWN, FRANKLY.

[ APPLAUSE ]>> Jon: WELL, I APPRECIATE YOU

BEING HERE AND NEXT YEAR, ME ANDYOU, WE RUN THE MARATHON, YES?

>> WE WILL TALK ABOUT THAT.

>> Jon: ALL RIGHT.

WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FORBEING HERE, I APPRECIATE IT.

GINA MCCARTHY.

WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK.

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