Washington's never-ending gender wars will not extend to the country's Nuclear Regulatory Commission thanks to the nomination of George Mason University professor Allison Macfarlane as chairman today. The game of faux outrage centered on which party slights women more threatened to spill over to the regulatory agency Monday after its former chairman Gregory Jaczko resigned amid allegations of misogyny and verbal abuse. But it looks like the war is over for now.
According to a White House release, MacFarlane is an associate professor of Environmental Science and Policy at the university and has served on a federal panel assigned with finding out a long-term solution for the nation's nuclear waste. According to The Hill, she's no softy when it comes to enforcing regulations on nuclear plants and has been critical of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository that the Obama administration gave up on in 2009. Possibly because of industry pressure, The Hill's Andrew Restuccia says, "The nomination sets up what could be a politically thorny confirmation process."
Of course, if she's confirmed, she's likely to be less controversial than her predecessor. Gregory Jaczko's resignation came ahead of an NRC inspector general report, due out within a month, which The Washington Post's Steven Mufson and Ed O'Keefe say quotes female staffers saying Jaczko made them cry. Given that, and the fact that the White House had been delaying the re-nominaton of Kristine Svinicki, a woman and a GOP NRC commissioner. the Republicans saw an inroad for War on Women 3.0, The Post suggested Monday. The paper even predicted the nomination of a woman:
The choice of a woman to lead the agency would undercut Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) attempt to turn the NRC into a women’s issue by arguing that the White House had unfairly delayed Svinicki’s renomination while standing by Jaczko.
Phew! A war is momentarily halted until the next arbitrary incident can be exploited.