April 28, 2009

Whitehouse Introduces Rhode Islander Cynthia Giles at Nomination Hearing for EPA Post

Statement as Prepared for Delivery

Chairman Boxer, Ranking Member Inhofe, thank you for holding this important hearing today to consider the nomination of three supremely qualified individuals to fill key positions at the Environmental Protection Agency. I am especially pleased to introduce today Ms. Cynthia Giles, from my home state of Rhode Island, as the nominee for Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

I have known and worked with Cynthia and have seen firsthand her leadership in the Ocean State on many critical environmental issues, including clean energy and climate change, water pollution and management, and state environmental agency performance. Over the years, she has repeatedly proven herself to be a vigorous, successful, and politically savvy advocate for the public good, and she will undoubtedly be an outstanding member of the President’s environmental enforcement team at EPA.

Cynthia’s broad experience and success in protecting human health, the environment, and ensuring effective environmental enforcement is evident. She spearheaded efforts in Rhode Island leading to the successful passage and implementation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a regional cap and trade program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from electric generating facilities. Additionally, with her leadership, Rhode Island adopted the California greenhouse gas emission standard for cars, and successfully defended those rules in federal court last year. These are just a few of many examples demonstrating Cynthia’s willingness to create, implement, and enforce much needed environmental change, and to facilitate cooperation between the EPA, on one hand, and state and local governments and the communities they represent, on the other.

Her active involvement in the Rhode Island community – teaching as an adjunct professor of environmental law at the Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island; serving as director of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Conservation Law Foundation; and chairing the Rhode Island chapter of the Sierra Club – has demonstrated a strong and effective commitment to education, community outreach, and collaboration to develop environmental policies that work.

Cynthia has also previously served at the EPA Region III office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania helping EPA enforce federal laws and assisting Region III states as they implement federal laws and regulations. Prior to her work at EPA, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Pennsylvania with a focus on environmental enforcement activities. She is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Cynthia’s career has been a clear testament to her desire to use her abilities for the greater good. She possesses a strong sense of purpose, strength of character, and the utmost integrity. She is eminently qualified for the position of Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and would be a great asset to the Environmental Protection Agency and the American people.


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