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EPA nominee McCarthy: I don’t even know how to use instant messages

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, said during her confirmation hearing today she hasn’t conducted business over instant message chats because she doesn’t even know how to send instant messages.

Sen. David Vitter, R-Vt., asked McCarthy if she has ever used IM chats to conduct EPA business.

“One good thing about being 58 is I don’t even know how to use them,” McCarthy said, eliciting laughter from the committee.

Two transparency groups sued the EPA earlier this month for IM chat records for several top officials, including McCarthy and former Administrator Lisa Jackson under Jackson’s primary account and her secondary “Richard Windsor” account.

Chris Horner, counsel for the groups that sued EPA for the chat records, said the agency’s reluctance to release the IM chat records in response to Freedom of Information Act requests suggests the agency is hiding McCarthy’s role in the Obama administration’s “war on coal.”

“They’re protecting Gina McCarthy until she’s safely confirmed,” he told The Washington Examiner last week.

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