President Biden’s EPA nominee Michael Regan is likely to win full Senate confirmation but he won’t have the support of Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe who came out against him in Tuesday’s vote of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
At least five other senators joined Inhofe in opposing Regan’s nomination which was approved 14-6 and sent to the full Senate.
In his explanation, Sen. Inhofe said he feared Regan’s control of the EPA would be a continuation of what he called terrible choices in the Obama-era EPA—choices that hurt Oklahomans.
“While I have great respect for Secretary Regan, I cannot in good conscience vote to confirm him to lead the EPA as he will be tasked with carrying on many failed Obama-era policies,” said Inhofe.
He said great progress was made in cutting unnecessary regulations and streamlining the environmental permitting process in the past four years.
West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capitol, the top Republican on the committee also voted against Regan’s nomination.
“Let me be clear: my decision today is not a personal one. Mr. Regan is a professional and affable gentleman. However, I remain deeply concerned about unaccountable climate czars in the White House and their control over EPA and environmental policy,” explained Capito.
She said she’s concerned because Regan did not rule out a return to the Clean Power Plan.
“He would not say whether EPA would again claim overreaching authority to force states to shift electricity generation sources. He could not rule out a return to the Obama administration’s 2015 WOTUS rule or something similar. ”
Over the weekend, Regan worked to answer 271 Questions For the Record from the Committee but only 21 of the answers are made public reported POLITICO.
The capitol hill news group said of the public answers, Regan vowed to listen to a wide range of stakeholders, consult with EPA staff and follow science and the law. He did not make any specific promises.