BIDEN PICKS EPA CHIEF, NAMES NATIVE AMERICAN TO HEAD INTERIOR DEP’T
President-elect Joe Biden announced that he has chosen North Carolina regulator Michael S. Regan as his nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as his pick for interior secretary.
Biden said the selections round out what he said would be an experienced climate team ready from their first day in office to tackle the “undeniable, accelerating, punishing reality of climate change.”
Biden is proposing a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s transportation and electrical systems to cut the oil, gas and coal emissions behind worsening global warming, Ellen Knickmeyer and Gary D. Robertson reported for the Associated Press (AP).
The picks also help Biden fulfill his promise to put together a Cabinet that reflects the diversity of America. Regan is Black, while Haaland would be the first Native American Cabinet member in US history.
Biden will introduce Regan, Haaland and other newly named nominees at an event Saturday. Regan became environmental chief in North Carolina in 2017 and made a name for himself by pursuing cleanups of industrial toxins and helping the low-income and minority communities hit hardest by pollution.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, who hired Regan, told AP this week that Regan was “a consensus builder and a fierce protector of the environment.”
If confirmed by the Senate, Regan would take over the EPA after four years that have seen the Trump administration weaken or eliminate key public health and environmental protections. President Donald Trump had made the agency a special target for his drive to cut regulation, saying early on that he would leave only “bits” of the environmental agency behind.