N.C. Department of Environmental Quality

Senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee voted on Tuesday to advance the nomination of Michael Regan 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. 

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 Capito (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 Graham (S.C.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), and Dan Sullivan (Alaska) voted to support his nomination. 

“I believe that Michael Regan is someone who can help unite us in common purpose,” said Sen. Tom Carper (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.

Tags Dan Sullivan Environment Environmental Protection Agency EPA Green New Deal Kevin Cramer Lindsey Graham Michael Regan Roger Wicker Shelley Moore Capito Tom Carper

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