TodayApril 16, 2022

Is CARB’s Mary Nichols going to the Federal EPA?

Is the Queen of CARB going to DC?

LouAnn Hammond,, talked to John Batchelor, host of the John Batchelor radio show, re President Obama reportedly is looking seriously at replacing departing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson.

Nichols denied being in Washington DC, on the eve of the 2013 Washington auto show, to interview for the job, but Hammond gives the reasons Obama should consider Mary Nichols of the California Air Resources Board for the Federal EPA Administrator job.

The CARB chairman, appointed by Republican Governor Schwarzenegger in 2007, has led the Golden State’s chief anti-pollution agency in its adoption of AB32, a massive program of statewide regulation designed to combat global warming. A version of the cap-and-trade portion of the program failed to generate sufficient support to gain passage in Congress in 2009 when Democrats controlled the Senate and House. But the current federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards were influenced greatly by the California program. Nichols has previous experience at EPA, having served as Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation under Democratic President Clinton.

If President Obama wants to know everything he can about CARB, it would make sense to appoint Nichols to the EPA job. Should Obama move forward with a Nichols appointment, it is likely to encounter significant opposition in the Senate’s confirmation process, according to

Nichols protected a “researcher whose work supported a major diesel exhaust regulation and who was found to have lied about his scientific credentials,” according to “Nichols didn’t tell all of the board members about the falsification before they voted to approve a regulation based on his research. Also, he was never fired,” said. Jackson announced earlier this week that she is leaving EPA following Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address in January. Jackson said she is leaving because she misses her home, New Jersey.

But Washington observers point to a growing scandal concerning Jackson’s admitted use of a government email address with a fake name – “Richard Windsor” – as at least a significant factor in her decision to depart EPA. It is against federal law to use a private email account or a false name on an official email account to conduct government business. Government transparency advocates contend officials use such non de plumes to evade public exposure of their email via the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.