Michael Regan, EPA Administrator
On December 19, 2020, President Joe Biden nominated Michael Regan, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), as Administrator of EPA. Mr. Regan has been serving as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality since 2017, where his priorities have been climate change, environmental justice, and coal ash cleanup. While at North Carolina DEQ, Mr. Regan led negotiations for the largest coal ash cleanup agreement with Duke Energy and cleanup of the Cape Fear River, which had been contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Mr. Regan also helped draft the Clean Energy Plan for the electric power sector in North Carolina to attain carbon neutrality by 2050 and created an environmental justice board to advise the DEQ. Prior to that, Mr. Regan served at EPA under President Clinton and President George W. Bush, leading initiatives to improve energy efficiency and air quality and mitigate the pollution. He was also an Associate Vice President of the Environmental Defense Fund, focusing on climate issues. In his public remarks on December 19, Mr. Regan pledged to move quickly to cooperate with states and address environmental justice while also reaching out to industry as partners in developing environmental solutions. PCA plans to engage with the EPA staff on PCA's environmental and energy advocacy priorities. PCA sent a letter to Senate Leadership urging swift confirmation of Mr. Regan, that you can view here.
Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy
On December 17, 2020, President Joe Biden nominated former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to be the next Secretary of Energy. Mr. Biden picked her because of her strong support of electric vehicles, which is part of his agenda to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agency conducts a wide range of research into energy generation and transmission systems, energy efficiency, and is the caretaker of the country's nuclear weapons. On February 25, the Senate confirmed former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to be Secretary of Energy by a vote of 64-35. In the lead up to her confirmation, PCA has sent a letter to Senate leadership supporting Granholm’s nomination and seeking swift confirmation by the Senate.
Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation
On December 16, 2020, President Biden announced his nomination of former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg to be Secretary of Transportation. As a candidate for President, Buttigieg called for increased investment in transportation infrastructure and highlighted the need to address the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. As part of this, Buttigieg supported moving away from a gas tax to vehicle miles traveled fee. Also, as a former mayor, Buttigieg highlights his support for providing greater discretion in transportation decision making to local communities. PCA sent a letter to Senate leadership supporting Buttigieg's nomination and seeking swift confirmation by the full Senate. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 2, 2021.
Marty Walsh, Secretary of Labor
On January 8, 2021, President Joe Biden selected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as the next Secretary of Labor. Walsh, a longtime union member who joined his first at age 21, previously headed a group representing ironworker and electrician unions, the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council, and was backed by the AFL-CIO. The pick is consistent with Biden’s strong pro-worker agenda and it is anticipated that Walsh will pursue union-supported policies.
Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury
On November 30, 2020, President Joe Biden announced Janet Yellen as the next Secretary of the Treasury. If confirmed, she will be the first female to lead the department. She has previously served as the Chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014-2018. Before her leadership of the Federal Reserve, Yellen served as the body's Vice Chair from 2010 to 2014 following an earlier term on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. She also served as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton. She will be responsible for President Biden's ambitious COVID-19 relief plan. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 26, 2021.
Gina McCarthy, Domestic Climate Policy Chief
On February 15, President-Elect Biden formally named former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, as his domestic climate policy chief and will lead a new White House office of domestic climate policy. President-Elect Biden plans to develop an ambitious climate policy, and this new office will coordinate throughout the federal government to ensure that policies to address climate change are built into every agency's plan. During the Obama Administration, Ms. McCarthy served as Assistant Administrator of the Office of Air & Radiation during his first term and as Administrator at EPA during his second term. While serving as Administrator, Ms. McCarthy was responsible for issuing the Clean Power Plan that would have regulated greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants but was repealed by the Trump Administration and replaced with the Affordable Clean Energy Rule. Confirmation by the U.S. Senate is not needed for this position. To read PCA's statement on President Biden's nominees and appointments, click here.
John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
On November 23, 2020, President Joe Biden announced John Kerry would serve as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. John Kerry served as America’s 68th Secretary of State, the first sitting Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman to serve as Secretary in over a century. Secretary Kerry elevated environmental challenges as diplomatic priorities, from oceans to hydrofluorocarbons. He was a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord, which President Joe Biden will re-enter following President Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement. He also launched Star-Studded Climate Coalition, a bipartisan organization with the goal of reaching net-zero carbon in the U.S. by 2050. Confirmation by the U.S. Senate is not needed for this position.
For more information on these nominees and appointees, please contact Sean O'Neill at email@example.com.