Biden to nominate Regan as EPA administrator

By Erin Voegele | December 17, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to announce Michael Regan as his nominee to serve as administrator of the U.S EPA. Representatives of the biofuels industry are expressing hope that Regan will bring a change in philosophy to the agency.

Regan has served as secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality since 2017. He previously served at EPA for nearly 10 years during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, holding several positions dealing with air policy.

“We congratulate Secretary Regan on his nomination to be EPA Administrator and look forward to working with him to get the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back on track, clear regulatory hurdles to E15 and higher blends, and ensure corn ethanol is part of the solution to new policies designed to tackle climate change,” said Brian Jennings, CEO of the American Coalition for Ethanol.

“Decisions the EPA Administrator makes to implement the RFS play an outsized role in the economic vitality of rural America and ethanol’s ability to meet its potential in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by displacing oil,” Jennings continued. “Unfortunately, previous EPA Administrators under President Obama and President Trump have improperly exercised their authority as confirmed through several court decisions. In other words, EPA’s mismanagement of the RFS has undercut ethanol’s ability to reduce GHG emissions in the near term.

“ACE is committed to driving federal policies forward that harness the incredible potential increasing the use of ethanol has to fight climate change while providing significant benefits to rural economies,” he added. “We are hopeful for a change in philosophy at EPA and a constructive partnership with Mr. Regan to ensure the Agency isn’t an impediment to meeting this potential.”

The Renewable Fuels Association has also spoken out following news of Regan’s expected nomination. “We congratulate Michael Regan on his nomination to be EPA Administrator,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA. “We look forward to working with the new administration to ensure that low-carbon renewable fuels like ethanol play an expanded role in efforts to slash toxic tailpipe pollution, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and combat climate change. President-elect Joe Biden understands the importance of a strong Renewable Fuel Standard and has soundly denounced the outgoing administration’s actions to undermine the RFS; we are eager to work with the next EPA Administrator to put the RFS back on track and accelerate decarbonization of our nation’s transportation fuels.”