At the time of the Flint water crisis, where lead from aging pipes leached into the city’s water system after it changed its water source, Chaffetz was the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which held hearings on the issue.
Chaffetz wasn’t the only one to object. “The people of Michigan won’t soon forget Gina McCarthy’s mishandling of and failure to adequately respond to the Flint water crisis as EPA administrator,” U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, a Tipton Republican and a former member of the committee who took part in the Flint hearings, told the Free Press Wednesday morning. “That ineptness alone is reason enough to disqualify her from a senior role, but her push for higher energy taxes and heavy-handed government regulations is also concerning for consumers.”
Democrats also chimed in: Rep. Dan Kildee, a Democrat from Flint Township who is a supporter of Biden’s, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, noting deep doubts about the choice. While thanking Biden for taking climate change so seriously, Kildee – who was a sharp critic of both the state’s and federal government’s roles in causing the Flint water crisis – said he’d heard from several Flint residents who “expressed their concerns to me about this appointment and I have relayed their concerns to (Biden’s transition team).”
“While the position of White House climate coordinator does not require confirmation by Congress, we must never forget the failures of the Flint water crisis,” said Kildee, who led efforts to require faster public notifications of high levels of lead in water systems and to approve funding to replace lead water pipes in the wake of the crisis. “All levels of government, including the state of Michigan and the Environmental Protection Agency, failed Flint families.”