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

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

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 Administratior job.

The CARB chairman, appointed by Republican Governor Schwarzenegger in 2007, has led the Golden State’s chief anti-pollution agency in it’s 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).


About the Author:

L ou Ann Hammond has a work history in the energy and transportation field. Starting with Chevron Corp. in finance and accounting from 1978 to 1986. Hammond was exposed to the accounting, selling, management, and transportation of petroleum and all the alternative energies Chevron explored for during the turbulent 1970s. Hammond is the founder and owner of the first privately owned automobile website Carlist is the longest running used car database, since 1986, even prior to the Internet. Hammond's most recent website,, covers a broader range of subjects than solely the automotive or the energy industry. Driving the Nation encompasses both automotive and energy issues to show the audience how dependent we are on both. Hammond's varied background in the petroleum and automotive industry gives her an analyst insight into the myriad levels of automobile and energy topics.