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Tipsheet

Biden Climate Adviser Is Leaving the White House

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

On Friday afternoon it was announced that President Joe Biden will announced later in the day that White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy is leaving her position. CNN was among the first to report the news, citing "an administration official familiar with the plans."

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McCarthy is staying on longer than expected, as is highlighted by CNN's Ella Nilsen in her article and in her tweet. The so-called "climate bill" that passed solely on party lines and was signed into law by the president last month is promoted in both the article and tweet. In her article, Nilsen refers to it as the "Democrats' historic climate legislation."

It's only later in the piece that it's mentioned by its formal but inaccurate title, the "Inflation Reduction Act," which will do no such thing, considering it will worsen inflation by adding more and raise taxes, even on lower- and middle-class Americans. Now that the bill has passed, it's been a habit of the mainstream media to focus on other aspects, rather than the false claims that it will reduce inflation. Even Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), who voted for the bill, have acknowledged it won't bring any immediate relief. 

Nilsen also acknowledges further down that McCarthy did not even have that much of a role in the legislation:

As much as McCarthy greased the wheels for climate action across agencies, the White House's most significant win on climate came through Congress last month in the Inflation Reduction Act, which contains $370 billion in new clean energy tax credits and climate provisions -- a historic amount of climate spending and the most significant environmental legislation since the landmark Clean Air Act.

As the Biden White House has pursued a largely legislative climate strategy, McCarthy did not play a large role in the Congressional negotiations, multiple lawmakers told CNN. In the end, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer played the largest role in final negotiations with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia that produced a surprise, eleventh-hour climate bill.

Throughout a year of stop and start negotiations preceding the bill's passage, lawmakers said McCarthy was largely focused on guiding executive actions and agency regulations. She had regular check-ins with Senate climate hawks to keep them apprised of climate-focused executive actions, Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota told CNN.
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Nilsen's reporting also includes a spot-on statement from Christy Goldfuss, the senior vice president for energy and environment policy at the Center for American Progress. "Her legacy is going to be that she set up the president and the fed government for the most aggressive climate action in the history of the US," she's quoted as saying. The Biden administration has certainly been "aggressive" all right, despite how so few Americans actually show as much prioritizing on the issue as this president and his underlings do.

McCarthy's expected last day will be two weeks from now, on September 16. She will be replaced by her deputy, Ali Zaidi.

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