Story at a glance

  • Several major outlets have reported that Biden will tap Michael Regan to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Regan is currently North Carolina's top environmental regulator and has previously worked for the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
  • He is known for his work in environmental justice and would be the second Black EPA chief in U.S. history.

In a cabinet full of firsts, Michael Regan will be nominated as the second Black head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Biden administration, The Hill reported Thursday, albeit still the first Black man in the position. 

If you aren’t familiar with his name, don't worry. The secretary of North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality isn’t the most well known of Biden’s Cabinet picks. But he is arguably well-qualified, having started his career at the EPA during the Clinton administration and spent eight years at the Environmental Defense Fund before becoming the state’s top environmental regulator. 


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Several environmental advocacy groups lauded the selection, having voiced concerns over other potential nominees with ties to major energy corporations. Regan, meanwhile, is known for prioritizing environmental justice, which The Washington Post reported, "helped win him the post."

If confirmed, Regan will take control over an agency that has been downsized under the Trump administration, which reversed dozens of environmental regulations over the last four years. 

“He faces a massive reconstruction and rebuilding operation,” Jody Freeman, a Harvard University law professor who served in the Obama administration, told The New York Times. “He has to make it clear that science and integrity are back. He’s got a raft of rules that he’s got to rescind and replace and strengthen.”


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Published on Dec 18, 2020