Gina McCarthy, Top Climate Adviser, Said to Resign in Coming Months

WASHINGTON – Gina McCarthy, the White House climate adviser, has told people close to her that she has been frustrated by the slow pace of climate progress and plans to step down in the coming months, according to many people she has contacted. talk.

Ms. McCarthy, 67, who has served since the start of the Biden administration, is expected to hold her position for about a year, friends and colleagues said on Thursday.

President Biden asked her to stay, according to a person familiar with McCarthy’s plan. Others who spoke to her in recent days said Ms McCarthy denied to them she was leaving and told associates she had no definite date in mind.

Ms. McCarthy did not respond to a request for comment on her plans, which was first reported by Reuters. Vedant Patel, a White House spokesman called the reports “untrue”.

“We do not have an announcement about personnel. Gina and her entire team continue to focus on delivering lasers on President Biden’s clean energy agenda,” Mr. Patel said in a statement.

President Biden has encouraged Ms. McCarthy, who served as an Environmental Protection Agency administrator under President Barack Obama, to run her ambitious climate agenda, which calls for cuts to the approx. half of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade.

But his plan has stalled in Congress because of unanimous opposition from Republicans as well as from Senator Joe Manchin IIIWest Virginia’s Democrats and a key spin-off vote in the Senate were split equally.

Separately, Mr. Biden plans to use executive power to enact tough new rules on greenhouse pollution from power plants and cars. can be severely limited by an upcoming Supreme Court decision in favor of conservatives.

Additionally, the war in Ukraine has exacerbated gasoline prices, prompting Mr. Biden to take steps that upset climate activists. He issue a record amount of money oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, begged oil companies to extract more and Temporarily relax environmental rules allows gasoline mixed with ethanol to be sold during the summer months, when it is generally banned because it can cause smoke.

Those moves come as a landmark United Nations report in which the world’s top scientists warn that time is running out for nations to pivot away from fossil fuels or face a future of climate catastrophe.

One person described Ms McCarthy in “despised mode” and said she was concerned about the political and legal challenges faced by the administration’s climate plans. Others said she complained of difficulties traveling and being away from her husband for a long time,

However, in public, Ms. McCarthy insisted she remained optimistic about the possibility that the climate law would be passed this year. At a recent event in Washington, she said she was “not naive” about the challenges but said, “I think we’re going to have a bill that’s going to be implemented this fall.”

While serving in the Obama administration, Ms. McCarthy was the principal architect of the president’s historic and far-reaching climate change policies.

Following the election of former President Donald J. Trump, Ms. McCarthy became head of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has sued the Trump administration more than 100 times over Trump’s attempts to cut off his environmental legacy. of Mr. Obama.

Under Mr. Biden, Ms. McCarthy was tasked with leading a “whole government” approach in which nearly every federal agency enacted new regulations to address climate change. She also hopes to guide Congress through new climate laws that a future president cannot undo, ensuring the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions fall steadily.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs contribution report.

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