Michael Regan of North Carolina is Joe Biden’s nominee to oversee the Environmental Protection Agency. It didn’t take long for Regan to begin reaching out to U.S. agriculture.
In fact, it was the day before the official nomination announcement that Regan called National Corn Growers Association CEO Jon Doggett. “He called me on my cell phone at night,” Doggett says. “It was not set up and I was completely surprised.” Regan said he wanted to introduce himself and point out that “we have a lot of work to do together if I get confirmed,” and say how much he’s looking forward to working with U.S. agriculture.
The Daily Scoop Dot Com says most of the conversation focused on working with corn growers to help reverse climate change. Regan said to Doggett, “I know the RFS is important to the corn industry, and climate change is important to Joe Biden. And we’re looking forward to helping farmers find opportunities to help us address climate change.” Doggett says, “That was good to hear.” Doggett also had the chance to talk to the future EPA chief about some of the needs of U.S. corn farmers that intersect with EPA regulation, including GMOs and glyphosate, that help farmers be more sustainable, both environmentally and economically.
President-elect Joe Biden will nominate New Mexico Democratic Representative Deb Haaland to be his Secretary of the Interior, and Michael Regan to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
NBC News says if Haaland is confirmed, she would be the first Native American to serve as a Cabinet secretary. If confirmed by the Senate, Regan would be the second black EPA chief in history after Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator during Barack Obama’s first term.
As interior secretary, Haaland would oversee the agency tasked with managing and conserving much of America’s federal lands and natural resources, including national parks and tribal lands.
Regan is currently the head of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. He has previous experience at the EPA during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Before leaving the EPA, he served as a national program manager responsible for designing programs to help reduce pollution and improve energy efficiency and air quality. Regan would have a top role in overseeing Biden’s ambitious proposals to combat climate change and invest in green energy and infrastructure.
The Biofuels Coalition filed a brief challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision in August of 2019 to approve 31 small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuels Standard for 2018.
The group submitted the brief to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the EPA lacked the authority to issue such exemptions and that it acted arbitrarily and capriciously in attempting to do so. The coalition includes Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, and the National Farmers Union.
“Among all of EPA’s indefensible actions surrounding small refinery exemptions in recent years, the agency’s two-page decision to grant 31 waivers from 2018 RFS compliance takes the cake,” coalition representatives say. “Enough is enough.” The groups told the court that the EPA has absolutely no legal basis for continuing to destroy demand for renewable fuels, which is contrary to the intent of Congress for the RFS program.
“When it adopted the RFS in 2005, Congress clearly intended for the waiver program to be temporary in nature,” they say. “But 15 years later, some refiners who’ve complied with the obligations in the past are trying to say they still need more time to comply with the current obligations.”