WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement regarding President-elect Biden’s nomination of Michael Regan to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“Restoring and reviving the Environmental Protection Agency after the last four years will be no walk in the park. This is a federal agency whose decisions affect each and every one of us in this country, each and every day—from the drinking water that flows from our faucets, to the products we use in our homes, to the air we draw into our lungs with every breath. This is also an agency that has been basically decimated by the outgoing administration, and whose decisions over the last four years have prioritized industry at steep costs to human health and the environment.
“Meanwhile, if you look across the country, what you will see is a nation suffering the loss of more than 300,000 Americans to a deadly pandemic. You will see a nation reeling from the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression and reckoning with systemic racial oppression, injustice and inequality. Everywhere you look in this country, you will see that the climate crisis is already here and threatening the water we drink, the air we breathe and the only home we have, our planet. Righting the ship at EPA would be difficult under any circumstance, but, right now, in this moment for our country, it poses a tremendous challenge for any leader. It also presents an opportunity.
“All eyes have been on this nomination for some time now because of the enormous responsibility it entails. Fortunately for President-elect Biden – and all of us, for that matter – there was no shortage of highly qualified public servants ready to roll up their sleeves and take on this challenge. In Secretary Michael Regan, President-elect Biden has selected a forward-looking public servant to lead EPA and address the longstanding environmental problems affecting our communities.
“As the head of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Secretary Regan has earned the reputation of a skilled consensus builder who understands the balance between environmental protections and economic growth – that we can ‘do well and do good’ at the same time. Coming from a state like North Carolina, Secretary Regan has a history of working productively with both political parties and various stakeholders to support progressive environmental policies. That collaborative approach to policymaking will prove to be a critical skillset in this political environment. After all, communication and engagement with the environmental community, the business community and the American people will be pivotal as EPA marshals its every existing tool and authority to mobilize our nation toward a clean, carbon-free economy.
“In the transition to a clean economy, EPA must ensure no worker, family or community is left behind. I look forward to hearing Secretary Regan’s ideas to foster greater opportunity and prosperity in the economy-wide transition to net-zero emissions. I also look forward to hearing Secretary Regan’s ideas to further the work of environmental justice and uplift communities of color, Indigenous communities and economically disadvantaged communities. To make real the promise of clean air, safe drinking water and a healthy community for everyone in this country, EPA must ensure environmental equity.
“Despite the daunting challenges facing our nation and our planet, with tonight’s announcement about the leadership of his climate team, President-elect Biden has given us all the more reason to be hopeful. It is clearer than ever that our president-elect sees the struggles of our communities and our families, and that he is listening to the next generation of young leaders who have mobilized to save our planet from the climate crisis. He acknowledges the science that tells us time is running out, and he is already working to fulfill the promises he made to each and every one of us to build a more sustainable, equitable and better future.”