Leaders of the new school!
Brenda Mallory and Michael Regan were just named as the two new appointments by President-elect Joe Biden, leading his environmental policy efforts.
Regan got his start in the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, working in the Environmental Protection Agency and focusing on air quality issues, Forbes reports. He eventually transitioned to the Environmental Defense Fund advocacy group and, in 2017, was named secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. There he helped to revitalize the regulation agency and led efforts to curb air and water pollution by energy and chemical companies. Regan also worked with Gov. Roy Cooper to commit to making North Carolina’s energy grid carbon neutral by 2050, a commitment that Biden has also made nationwide.
Now, Regan will serve as the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, making history the first Black man to hold the title. In his new role, Regan would help combat climate change, promote green energy, and address environmental racism issues. He would also focus on developing fuel-efficiency standards and oversee emissions from power plants, oil and gas facilities, and clean up pollution.
“Regan realizes that America’s environmental laws and policies must, first and foremost, protect the most vulnerable. Growing up with asthma in eastern North Carolina, Regan saw toxic pollution, agricultural waste and environmental destruction being concentrated near communities of color and low-income communities,” a Biden transition team affiliate told The Washington Post.
Mallory, a veteran environmental and public health lawyer, has also been tapped by the Biden administration to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, MSN reports. In the new role, Mallory would focus on coordinating government efforts to combat climate change and cultivate sustainable development. The environmental maven previously served as general counsel under Forever President Barack Obama before transitioning to director of regulatory policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center, focusing on promoting clean air, safe water, and wildlife conservation.
As head of the council, Mallory would oversee the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act and wield an enormous amount of power over government reviews regarding consequences of agency decisions surrounding everything from land use to oil drilling and endangered species. If confirmed, Mallory would make history as the first Black woman to lead the council.
Stephen Schima, senior legislative counsel with environmental law organization Earthjustice, spoke about Mallory’s appointment, saying, “She holds a deep commitment to protecting everyone, including the most vulnerable, from environmental pollution. By nominating Mallory, President-elect Biden is sending a strong signal that his administration is prepared to take the steps necessary to address the climate and biodiversity crises and take meaningful action to combat environmental injustice.”
President-elect Joe Biden has been working to put together a team that is as diverse as America. Here’s hoping the seats at the table bring about positive lasting change.
Congratulations, Brenda and Michael!
Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Gross/Southern Environmental Law Center/JohnRaeNYC/TheWashingtonPost