Mar 11, 2021

Senate Confirms Michael Regan to Run US EPA

Senators voted 66 to 34 to confirm Regan.

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The Senate confirmed Michael Regan, who heads the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, to run the U.S. EPA. 

Senators voted 66 to 34 to confirm Regan, according to The Los Angeles Times. Sixteen Republicans voted for him and Democrats backed his nomination unanimously.

According to administration officials, Regan will put forward new regulations to meet President Biden’s goals of eliminating fossil fuel emissions from the electric power sector by 2035, significantly reducing emissions from cars and preparing the U.S. to emit no net carbon pollution by the middle of the century, reported The New York Times.

Several proposed regulations are already in the process of being prepared.

Regan will be the first Black man to lead the EPA. 

“I will be leading and making those decisions, and I will be accepting accountability for those decisions,” said Regan about EPA policies in his testimony before the Senate in February, reported The New York Times.

Regan will also focus on environmental policy impacts on low-income and minority communities, directing more funding and attention to these communities disproportionately affected by toxic chemicals and air pollution from heavy industry and transportation, reported The Los Angeles Times. President Biden pledged to devote 40% of spending in his $2 trillion climate plan to these communities.

According to the Washington Post, Regan served as North Carolina’s top environmental official since early 2017. His accomplishments include creating a multibillion-dollar settlement over a coal ash cleanup with Duke Energy, establishing an environmental justice advisory board and reaching across the political divide to work with the state’s Republican legislature. Regan also has experience working with disadvantaged communities. 

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