President-elect Joe Biden is expected to announce the selection of Michael Regan to head up the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Regan is currently Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, a position he has held since 2017. During his tenure, he oversaw the historic settlement with Duke Energy for a full cleanup of all the utility’s coal ash impoundments, as well as the agency’s rejection of the proposed controversial Southgate pipeline, an extension of the still-unfinished Mountain Valley Pipeline. Regarding the latter, Regan issued a statement that “This has always been an unnecessary project that poses unnecessary risks to our environment …”
Under his tenure, Regan developed the NC Environmental Justice Advisory Board and has been working to combat climate change and transition to a clean energy economy through the Governor’s Executive Order 80.
Statement from Amy Adams, Appalachian Voices North Carolina Program Manager:
“More than ever, the country needs an EPA administrator who prioritizes and acts on climate change and environmental justice — two of the most pressing issues facing America today. Michael Regan could be that administrator.
“He has many of the qualifications and qualities of a strong leader. In North Carolina, he inherited a fractured, demoralized agency that had lost the public’s trust and rebuilt it to be a more responsive, pro-environment protection entity that serves the public’s interests over corporate interests. While we’re not crazy about the idea of him leaving North Carolina, we believe he’ll do a great job at EPA.”
Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.