RALEIGH — Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden has picked Michael S. Regan, currently the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality secretary, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Biden announced the pick as part of his “climate team,” along with nominees for the Department of Energy, Department of the Interior and three additional administration posts.
Biden said of his climate team, “This brilliant, tested, trailblazing team will be ready on day one to confront the existential threat of climate change with a unified national response rooted in science and equity. They share my belief that we have no time to waste to confront the climate crisis, protect our air and drinking water, and deliver justice to communities that have long shouldered the burdens of environmental harms. Together, they will seize the opportunity to build back better with good-paying union jobs, climate-resilient infrastructure, and a clean energy future that benefits every single community.”
Gov. Roy Cooper said of the appointment, “I am proud that President-elect Biden has recognized the talent we have here to select Michael Regan, North Carolina born and educated, to be EPA Administrator. Michael has served as DEQ secretary with distinction, helping advance my climate change executive order and promoting creative solutions to some of our toughest challenges. He has important work ahead of him helping battle climate change on a national level, and I wish him and his family the best on this next step.”
Regan previously spent almost a decade at the federal EPA, including managing a national program for air-pollution issues.
“Michael Regan is a champion of environmental justice, with a proven track record of success in transitioning to a net-zero emission economy, reducing dangerous emissions and cleaning up toxic pollutants,” said a statement from Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “His leadership of EPA will elevate the priority of environmental justice and drive great progress to eliminate disparities facing low-income communities and communities of color.”
According to a Biden transition team biography, Regan holds subject matter expertise in the realm of environmental, energy, economic and equity issues.
“With Michael Regan, President-elect Biden continues adding to his historically qualified and diverse Cabinet, replacing a fossil fuel industry puppet with an experienced EPA air quality scientist, just as Gov. Cooper did when he put Regan in charge of our DEQ four years ago,” said N.C. League of Conservation Voters director of government relations Dan Crawford. “Regan has gone to bat for North Carolinians against polluters, and now the rest of the country will get to benefit from his leadership. North Carolina’s loss will be America’s gain.”
Regan, a native of Goldsboro, holds a bachelor’s degree from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and a master’s from George Washington University.