Updated Sep 2, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Gina McCarthy, Biden's top domestic climate aide, is stepping down

Photo of White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy
National climate adviser Gina McCarthy. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Gina McCarthy, President Biden's domestic climate adviser, said she is leaving the administration in mid-September, according to a source familiar with the plans.

Why it matters: McCarthy, who led the Obama-era EPA, has played a central role in making climate change a government-wide priority.

  • The efforts have spanned moves to curb emissions and also boost readiness and resilience to unavoidable damages.
  • McCarthy's resignation was first reported by the New York Times.

Catch up fast: McCarthy's plan to depart has been rumored for months. "She has told associates that the travel associated with her job was tiring and that she never intended to stay for the president's full four-year term," the NYT notes.

The big picture: McCarthy's tenure at the White House has been marked by dramatic turns in the fortunes of the Biden administration's agenda.

  • Sweeping energy and climate investment legislation looked dead several times before its revival in late July and passage last month.
  • The Biden administration is also moving ahead with executive branch regulations.
  • But a Supreme Court decision in late June imposed new constraints on the EPA's running room and may limit other rules, too.

What we're watching: Ali Zaidi, her deputy in the role, is expected to replace McCarthy, per the NYT.

  • A key part of her successor's job will be helping to breathe life into the roughly $370 billion worth of clean energy and climate provisions in the recently enacted law.
  • Officials are also continuing to work on various regulations and implementing a suite of separate initiatives in the bipartisan infrastructure law enacted last year.
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