Feb 04, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC -- Michael S. Regan appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday for his confirmation hearing to be administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Regan hails from North Carolina, where he most recently served as secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. Prior to that, he was the associate vice president of U.S. climate and energy, and southeast regional director at the Environmental Defense Fund. Regan also worked at EPA in both the Clinton and Bush Administrations overseeing air quality and energy programs.
In his opening statement, Regan emphasized his commitment to protect the environment, community, and economy.
“Improving our natural resources isn’t something to just balance with the economy. It’s essential for economic growth along with protecting public health and our way of life,” said Regan. “Careful stewardship of the environment is more than just passing down traditions to the next generation. It’s about learning from the past and being prepared to combat the challenges that our future generations will face.”
Throughout the hearing, Regan stressed the importance of stakeholder input in the EPA rulemaking process, saying, “I’ve spent a lot of time with small farmers. I’ve spent a lot of time with environmental groups. And what I would say is, I’m looking forward to convening multiple stakeholder groups on how we chart a path forward.”
Regan fielded several questions from the committee on equity and environmental justice, the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (formerly the Waters of the U.S. Rule), and intentions of increased state-level support from the agency.
“The U.S. rice industry has a long tradition of stewardship of the environment by utilizing sustainable farming practices,” said David Petter, an Arkansas rice farmer and chair of the USA Rice Regulatory Affairs and Food Safety Committee. “We look forward to working with Regan and his staff at the EPA to allow us to continue those efforts and to protect the interests of our rice farmers.”
USA Rice joined more than 20 other agriculture organizations in a letter of support for Regan to the leaders of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He is expected to be voted favorably out of the committee and ultimately confirmed by the full Senate.