Senate advances nomination of Biden EPA pick Regan

Senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee voted on Tuesday to advance the nomination of Michael ReganMichael ReganOVERNIGHT ENERGY: DOJ to let companies pay for environmental projects again to reduce fines | House Democrats reintroduce green energy tax package OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate committee advances Granholm nomination to lead Energy | EPA nominee Regan pledges ‘urgency’ on climate change at confirmation hearing | Omar calls on Biden to block pipeline being built in Minnesota EPA nominee Regan pledges ‘urgency’ on climate change at confirmation hearing 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. 

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 CapitoGOP blames White House staff for lack of COVID-19 relief deal Senate signals broad support for more targeted coronavirus relief checks Bipartisan group of senators calls for more targeted relief checks 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 GrahamDOJ to seek resignations of most Trump-appointed US attorneys: report Lawmakers lay blame on Trump over riot as second impeachment trial looms Sunday shows – Trump impeachment trial, stimulus dominate MORE (S.C.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerMarkey urges bipartisanship in push to update broadband plan Schumer, McConnell finalizing deal on Trump impeachment trial Lawmakers lay blame on Trump over riot as second impeachment trial looms MORE (Miss.), Kevin CramerKevin John CramerBiden faces calls to shut down Dakota Access pipeline This week: Senate starts Trump trial as Democrats draft coronavirus bill Senate eyes speedy Trump impeachment trial MORE (N.D.), and Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanInside America’s most dysfunctional legislative body Democratic senator demands Rand Paul wear a mask on Senate floor The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Democrats chart path to pass Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan 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 CarperSenate eyes speedy Trump impeachment trial Five takeaways from the budget marathon Senate names first Black secretary of the Senate 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.

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