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SPOTLIGHT

1. EPA

Former McCarthy skeptic signals 2nd-round battle over nomination

Environmental and industry sources alike have praised current U.S. EPA air chief Gina McCarthy, President Obama's pick to head the agency, for her regulatory knowledge, straight-shooting personality and willingness to engage all sides. But McCarthy's open style may not matter when it comes to her confirmation in the Senate, since the process offers Republicans one of their best opportunities to weigh in on Obama's environmental regulations.

2. DOE

Moniz nomination has turned up no big-time Senate critics -- yet

It looks like smooth sailing ahead for Ernest Moniz. President Obama's pick to lead the Department of Energy has attracted some grumbling from environmentalists over his previous support for natural gas, nuclear energy and clean coal -- but nothing that rises to a level that could derail his confirmation.

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