In our latest RS Interview: Special Edition video series, Rolling Stone‘s Jeff Goodell spoke with Gina McCarthy, the former head of the EPA under President Barack Obama. She’s currently the president and CEO of the NRDC Action Fund and they discussed President Trump’s environmental record, life under Covid-19, and the future of climate policy in America.
“Disappointing is certainly not a strong enough word. I think more discouraging — I wasn’t angry,” McCarthy says in response to a question about her reaction to the changes after her tenure. “I knew that this administration wouldn’t really care about the issues that EPA move forward on, like the environmental protections for air and water, but also climate. But I had no idea that they would come in and decide to dismantle everything.”
She explains she’s much more concerned on the success at dismantling some of the fundamental rules and “rewrite them in a way that’s really going to leave it up to the courts to make decisions about what has been the law of the land and the interpretation of those laws. … We’re in a much more dangerous situation now about our ability to regroup and move forward. So it’s it could end up being much more longer term damage, depending upon what courts get to look at these issues and what their decisions are moving forward, including the Supreme Court, of course.”
She’s also concerned about the results of the 2020 election: “I guess part of the concern is for me is that, while I may be solely focused in on oftentimes in conversations I have on on EPA and public health and the environment, you know, I’m I’m you know, at night when things get shut down. All I think of is whether we will have a functioning democracy if this person and his cronies continue to do the dismantling for another four years.”
This is the latest installment of Rolling Stone’s “RS Interview: Special Edition” video series, which features in-depth conversations with notable figures in music, entertainment, and politics. Episodes premiere every Thursday afternoon on Rolling Stone’s YouTube channel.