Joe Biden has announced his pick for EPA secretary as Michael Regan, the secretary for North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality. As many outlets have noted, if confirmed, he would be the first African American man to obtain the role.
In his role in North Carolina, Regan has helped to clean up Cape Fear River and introduce North Carolina’s Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board, which reportedly helps the low-income and minority communities that suffer disproportionate exposure to harmful pollutants from refineries, factories and freeways, according to the AP.
Environmental groups are pleased with the announcement and suggested that Regan will work to reverse the "damage" done by the Trump administration.
“We will do everything in our power to support and push Regan to repair the damage done by the Trump administration, take bold action on climate solutions, and genuinely address environmental injustice that has been allowed to go on too long,” Earthjustice president Abigail Dillen said in a statement.
As the Washington Post reports, that apparently means Regan will "play a central role in realizing Biden’s promises to combat climate change, embrace green energy and address environmental racism."
Biden's EPA announcement comes after his pick of former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm for energy secretary.
Much has been made of the diversity that appears to be making up Biden's cabinet. For instance, the media were quick to praise Biden for picking Buttigieg as the first openly gay nominee for a cabinet post, but conservatives noted that former ambassador to Germany and acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell became the first openly gay cabinet member in February of 2020.
Biden is also expected to present Rep. Deb Haaland as his interior secretary on Thursday.