Senate advances nomination of Biden EPA pick Regan

Senate advances nomination of Biden EPA pick Regan
© N.C. Department of Environmental Quality

Senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee voted on Tuesday to advance the nomination of Michael ReganMichael ReganOvernight Energy & Environment — Biden officials announce clean energy plans EPA to assess health impacts of leaded aircraft fuel Biden administration calls on agencies to better guard against political influence on science MORE to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

The committee voted 14-6 to move Regan's nomination to the full Senate. 

Regan was formerly North Carolina’s top environmental regulator. If he’s confirmed to lead the EPA, he’ll be tasked with implementing a number of Biden’s campaign pledges, including helping the U.S. reach carbon neutrality by 2050. 

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While Regan had bipartisan support on the committee, the nominee also garnered opposition from some Republicans who took issue with the Biden administration’s policy agenda.

“It is unclear whether Secretary Regan, if confirmed, would …. have the authority to stop the regulatory march towards the Green New Deal,” said Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoLobbying world Republicans threaten floor takeover if Democrats weaken filibuster  Like it or not, all roads forward for Democrats go through Joe Manchin MORE (R-W.Va.), the committee’s ranking member. 

She added that it is “unclear” whether Regan would “set out on a different policy course” than Obama-era officials who have joined or have been appointed to join the Biden administration. 

However, all of the committee’s Democrats, as well as Republicans Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators introduce bill aimed at protecting Ukrainian civilians Kyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy and the politics of rage Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two MORE (S.C.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerUkraine receives second batch of weapons from US: 'And this is not the end' US maintains pressure on Russia amid concerns of potential Ukraine invasion Sunday shows - Russia standoff over Ukraine dominates MORE (Miss.), Kevin CramerKevin John CramerWicker: Biden comments on Ukraine caused 'distress' for both parties Biden huddles with group of senators on Ukraine-Russia tensions Overnight Defense & National Security — Texas hostage situation rattles nation MORE (N.D.), and Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanSenate confirms Rahm Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan GOP resistance to Biden FCC nominee could endanger board's Democratic majority Man charged with threatening Alaska senators pleads not guilty MORE (Alaska) voted to support his nomination. 

“I believe that Michael Regan is someone who can help unite us in common purpose,” said Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperBiden comments add momentum to spending bill's climate measures  Democrats hope to salvage Biden's agenda on Manchin's terms  Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (D-Del.), the committee’s chairman.

“That’s what he did in North Carolina and as an honest and thoughtful public servant, he brought people together to find solutions to some of the Tarheel State’s most pressing environmental challenges,” Carper added.

During a confirmation hearing last week, Regan pledged to act with “urgency” on climate change.

He also said he would prioritize action on a class of cancer-linked chemicals called PFAS, implement an environmental justice adviser to work on environmental inequality and would operate with a “clean slate” on regulating emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Updated at 10:54 a.m.