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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 ReganHarris says 'hard work' ahead to get infrastructure package through Congress OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior says it isn't immediately reinstating coal leasing moratorium despite revoking Trump order | Haaland seeks to bolster environmental law targeted by Trump | Debate heats up over role of carbon offsets in Biden's 'net-zero' goal OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dakota Access pipeline to remain in operation despite calls for shutdown | Biden hopes to boost climate spending by B | White House budget proposes .4B for environmental justice 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 CapitoOn The Money: Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats | Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump official delayed releasing information on cancer-linked chemical in Illinois: watchdog | Advocacy groups say tech giants need to 'step it up' on sustainability |  GOP senator: Raising corporate taxes is a 'non-starter' Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats 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 Graham'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party Graham: 'I could not disagree more' with Trump support of troop withdrawal Wall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study MORE (S.C.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerBiden looks to bolster long-term research and development McCarthy and Biden haven't spoken since election Instagram sparks new concerns over 'kidfluencer' culture MORE (Miss.), Kevin CramerKevin John CramerBiden administration faces big decision on whether to wade into Dakota Access fight OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies Senate GOP pushes back on list of participants in oil and gas leasing forum MORE (N.D.), and Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Congress must address the toxic exposure our veterans have endured GOP lawmakers ask Biden administration for guidance on reopening cruise industry 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 CarperThis week: Democrats move on DC statehood OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate confirms Mallory to lead White House environment council | US emissions dropped 1.7 percent in 2019 | Interior further delays Trump rule that would make drillers pay less to feds Key Democrat says traveler fees should fund infrastructure projects MORE (D-Del.), the committee’s chairman.

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“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.