WASHINGTON — Both West Virginia U.S. Senators stuck to their guns on opposing the Clean Power Plan and voted against the nominee for the deputy EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) administrator.
But with three Republican Senators voting for Janet McCabe, she was approved 52-42.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the lone Democrat to oppose the nomination, said he could not support McCabe because of her involvement in and support of the plan, which was initiated under the Obama Administration.
“I could not support Janet McCabe’s nomination,” he said. “During her time as Acting Assistant Administrator of the EPA, she was one of the chief architects of the Clean Power Plan that would have required coal plants to use unproven technology.”
Manchin said he believes “we need to invest in deploying and exporting innovative technologies to use our natural resources in the cleanest way possible, but regulations that are not feasible are not reasonable.”
“The Clean Power Plan would have been devastating for places like West Virginia, and I am concerned by her continued defense of this harmful rule,” he said. “While I could not support Ms. McCabe’s nomination, my door is always open and I will continue working with the Biden Administration to prioritize reinvestment into and revitalization of our coal communities impacted by the downturn in energy production. I hope that Ms. McCabe will recognize the importance of supporting those who have made our nation what it is today.”
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., struck a similar chord in her vote against the nomination.
“It is no secret that the regulations of the Obama-Biden administration crushed West Virginia’s economic foundation without actually considering the real-world impacts those policies would have on hardworking families and their communities,” she said in opposing the nomination. “Janet McCabe served in a politically appointed leadership role during that administration, strongly supported this agenda, and certainly played a role in this.”
Capito said the Biden administration’s environmental goals are “clearly shaping up to be a repeat—or even more extreme—of the Obama-Biden regulatory agenda that devastated West Virginia.”
“Reviving that agenda means putting Americans out of work through executive actions like canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and rolling back commonsense regulations that protect the environment while keeping our economy moving,” she said. “Given Janet McCabe’s past actions and present statements, I could not support someone who would work to destroy West Virginia’s economy, community, and livelihood.”
In the end, though, Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted for McCabe.