President-Elect Joe Biden has tapped three clean energy policy leaders and experts for key energy and climate positions within his Administration: former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm; Gina McCarthy, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator and state environmental official; and Michael Regan, head of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), which houses the State Energy Office.
David Terry, Executive Director of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), expressed NASEO’s strongest support for both picks and highlighted the urgency of the work before them: “NASEO applauds President-Elect Biden’s selection of Governor Granholm, Administrator McCarthy, and NC DEQ Secretary Regan, all of whom have been instrumental in advancing clean energy policy at the national, state, and local levels. We know each to be a champion of energy and policy innovation, equity, and bold actions that rely on federal-state cooperation to get the job done. These qualities are essential as the incoming administration tackles the cross-cutting challenges of job creation, climate change, and public health. We urge bipartisan U.S. Senate support for the confirmation of former Governor Granholm, former Administrator McCarthy, and Secretary Regan.”
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Granholm would serve as the 16th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, overseeing a multi-billion-dollar budget, 17 national laboratories, and programs across a wide range of technologies including nuclear, renewables, and fossil fuels. During her two terms as governor, Granholm championed clean energy innovation and economic development, with a particular emphasis on the automotive sector and manufacturing. Former Governor Granholm will be the third former governor to lead DOE since its creation.
McCarthy leads the Natural Resources Defense Council and served as EPA Administrator under President Barack Obama. McCarthy has also held numerous roles at the state level, including commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, deputy secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Commonwealth Development, and undersecretary of policy for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. In the role of domestic climate coordinator, McCarthy is expected to helm a new White House office covering domestic climate policy.
Since 2017, Regan has served as DEQ Secretary under Governor Roy Cooper. In this role, Regan oversees programs protecting the quality of North Carolina’s air, water, land, coastal fisheries, and public health. His prior roles include Associate Vice President of U.S. Climate and Energy and Southeast Regional Director of the Environmental Defense Fund and program management positions within EPA’s air quality and energy programs for the Clinton and Bush administrations. As EPA Administrator, Regan would play a central role in Biden’s commitments to tackle climate change, bolster clean energy, and advance environmental justice.