West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin just finished up a quick floor speech in which he basically said that Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s nominee to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is highly qualified for the post — but he’s going to vote against McCarthy’s confirmation anyway.
Sen. Manchin said:
My fight is not with her. My fight is truly with the agency itself, with the EPA and the president himself.
Sen. Manchin noted that McCarthy had advised Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president last year, on climate change issues when Romney was governor of Massachusetts and was well qualified to run EPA:
It’s not hard to imagine … this same lady could have been nominated to be the EPA administer if Mitt Romney would have won, by another president from another party.
But Sen. Manchin said he wants to make a point to the administration about his opposition to what he said is “a true declaration of war on coal” by the Obama White House:
The fight will continue until the EPA stops its over-regulatory rampage and until the president comes up with real policies that achieve energy independence … The president plans to use the EPA to regulate the coal industry out of existence. It really doesn’t matter that much who is sitting as administrator of EPA. It is the president who will be calling all of the shots in the administration.