Senate Confirms Regan for EPA Administrator

DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen • Photo by Charlotte Observer

Michael Regan

Newly Confirmed EPA Administrator

Senate Confirms Regan for EPA Administrator

March 11, 2021

Yesterday (March 10, 2021) the Senate voted 66-34 to confirm Michael Regan as the next Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator.

Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE)  said, "Michael Regan is the right person for the job at this critical moment." He called him a man of deep faith who believes we have a moral obligation to be good stewards of this planet. He said, "As Secretary of North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality he has proved himself to be an effective policy executive and bipartisan problem solver."

Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), ranking member on the Environment and Public Works committee said she opposed the nomination, but first wanted to be very clear that she "liked meeting and getting to know Michael Regan." She called him a dedicated public servant and an honest man. But she could not vote to confirm someone who would faithfully execute President Biden's agenda, which she opposes.

Sen. Capito expressed her concern that Biden's Climate Czar, Gina McCarthy and others have already set the course. She quoted "Inside EPA" saying, "Administration Observers are questioning whether Michael Regan could face a diminished role if he wins Senate confirmation due to the large number of Obama era officials who have returned to the agency and the White House to work on implementing Biden's environmental agenda." Sources said that so many officials working on climate change could lead to turf wars between EPA and the White House. Sen. Capito said she shared those concerns, especially the role of Gina McCarthy who heads the White House Office of Climate Policy. She said, "for almost two months now, unaccountable Czar, Gina McCarthy has been working both behind the scenes and in front of the press to lay the groundwork for the Biden administration agenda. She's wielding her power publicly to make it clear who's calling the shots and directing the troops." Expressing hope that Michael Regan will be someone who Republicans can work with, she challenged him to cut Gina McCarthy out of power and let her know who is calling the shots for environmental policy in the Biden administration. She promised aggressive oversight on what she thinks may be coming.

Following the confirmation vote, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AL) who sits on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted for Mr. Regan to move out of committee but voted no on the Senate Floor. He said he was impressed with Mr. Regan and feels he is qualified, but expressed concern that he could not get commitments to have a cease fire on Biden's "war on working families in Alaska". He said that 8 executive orders in the first two months of President Biden's administration were focused on Alaska including a moratorium on oil and gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.



Senate Floor Proceedings • Mar 10, 2021 
Sen. Carper speaks at about 5h:26m into the recording.
Sen. Capito speaks at about 5h:54m into the recording.
Sen. Sullivan speaks at about 8h:37m into the recording.
Final Vote is voiced at about 8h:07m into the recording