U.S. picks environmental agency chief to head inauguration delegation

The United States is sending a global warming big gun to represent the country at the inauguration Thursday of Luis Gullermo Solís.

The White House said President Barack Obama named Gina McCarthy, administrator of the  Environmental Protection Agency, to head the delegation.

Also included are Gonzalo R. Gallegos, the current chargé d’affaires, at the U.S. Embassy here, and Francisco Palmieri, deputy assistant secretary of State for Central America and the Caribbean.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate gave Ms. McCarthy a tough time before the nomination was confirmed, which took place last July 18. She has been at the Environmental Protection Agency for several years.

According to the Washington Post, Ms. McCarthy spent much of the four years  at the EPA prior to her nomination shepherding through air regulations, which have come under attack from business groups for helping shut down power plants.

Palmieri is a career foreign service employee who has served in Venezuela and Honduras, among other posts.

The delegation is typical of those that have come before. The only exception was in 2006 when Laura Bush, the wife of the sitting U.S. president, headed the delegation at the inauguration of Óscar Arias Sánchez. She only stayed in the country 19 hours.

In 2002 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman headed the deletion for the inauguration of Abel  Pacheco. Also a member was John Danilovich, who was U.S. ambassador then.

The U.S. does not have an ambassador in Costa Rica now, so  Gallegos is in charge.

In 2010 for the inauguration of Laura Chinchilla, the head of the delegation was Susan E. Rice, then the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations. She was accompanied by Christopher Dodd, a lame-duck U.S. senator, and Nancy Sutley, identified as president of the White House Council of Environmental Quality. Joining the delegation was Anne S. Andrew, who was the U.S. ambassador here.

Members of the foreign delegation will be paying their courtesy calls Wednesday at Casa Amarilla, the foreign ministry. The ministry hosted foreign diplomats Monday when Enrique Castillo, who leaves as foreign minister May 8, summarized his tenure.

Those who have tickets for the Thursday inauguration at the Estadio Nacional in La Sabana are being urged to use public transportation.

The  Policía de Tránsito will be instituting controls in the roadways south, north and west of Parque la Sabana starting in the first minutes of Thursday. The agency says there will be delays as officers stop traffic for the arrival of foreign delegations.

Starting Wednesday night, police will be providing a security screen at the  Antigua Aduana and at the Museo de Arte, becasue these figure in the inauguration.

In addition there will be delays  as foreign delegations travel from Juan Santamaría airport Wednesday.

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