Outgoing EPA chief laments that her agency didn't connect better with rural voters

Jan 11, 2017

Credit U.S. State Department

The outgoing head of the Environmental Protection Agency said this week that one of her biggest regrets was her agency’s failure to connect with rural America.

As The Rural Blog reports, Gina McCarthy struggled to connect with everyday Americans in the heartland, and even inadvertently offended people at times. McCarthy’s efforts to explain the EPA’s Clean Water Act got her into trouble with farmers, especially when she called their concerns “silly” and “ludicrous.” McCarthy later said those comments had been taken out of context.

McCarthy also said she worried that baggage around the term “climate change” had hamstrung the EPA’s efforts to improve the environment for rural Americans. She insisted that climate change is not a partisan issue, but is rather an environmental one.