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EXCLUSIVE-Obama leaning toward picking McCarthy for EPA chief-sources

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 1 Feb 2013 20:49 GMT
Author: Reuters
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By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama is leaning toward choosing Gina McCarthy, a top official in charge of air quality at the Environmental Protection Agency, to run the EPA in his second term, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

McCarthy, currently the assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation, would take on the top job as the agency leads Obama's push for measures to fight climate change.

McCarthy would replace current EPA chief Lisa Jackson, who said in December she planned to step down.

A final decision has not been made, and one source cautioned that Bob Perciasepe, Jackson's deputy, was still in the mix for the administrator post.

An announcement could still be a couple weeks away.

McCarthy would bring more gender equality to Obama's revamped cabinet. The president has faced criticism for appointing white men to vacancies at the departments of state, defense, and treasury.

McCarthy has served previously as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

Asked for reaction, a White House spokesman said he did not have any personnel announcements to make. (Editing by Alistair Bell and Sandra Maler)

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