Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Biden considers former EPA chief McCarthy for domestic climate czar -sources

PoliticsDec 13, 2020 10:20PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks during a news conference, accompanied by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in Washington

By Jarrett Renshaw and Valerie Volcovici

Wilmington, Del.co2 (Reuters) -President-elect Joe Biden is considering appointing Gina McCarthy, who headed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Obama administration, as domestic "climate czar" in charge of coordinating climate policies across federal agencies, according to two people familiar with the plan.

Biden is also considering Michael Regan, an African American who runs North Carolina's environmental agency, to run the EPA, the two sources said.

If appointed, Regan would be a surprise choice over onetime front-runner Mary Nichols, who is retiring from the California Air Resources Board, as environmental justice activists and civil rights leaders push for more diversity in the incoming administration.

The Biden transition team did not respond to requests for comment. McCarthy, Regan and Nichols also did not respond to requests for comment.

Biden has made tackling climate change a pillar of his upcoming administration, seeking to restore the United States as a global leader on the issue while forcing all federal agencies to rethink their roles in tackling the problem.

Biden, who was vice president under President Barack Obama, selected former Secretary of State John Kerry to serve as his global climate czar, making him part of the U.S. national security team and charging him with coordinating with other counties on the environment.

If selected, McCarthy, who currently serves as president of the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, a leading national environmental group, would serve as the domestic counterpart to Kerry. The position would not require U.S. Senate confirmation.

Kerry and Brian Deese, Biden's pick to head the National Economic Council, both worked under Obama and helped negotiate the Paris climate accord, which the United States exited under Republican President Donald Trump. Biden has vowed to rejoin the pact.

McCarthy was key to writing the Clean Power Plan, a signature Obama-era measure that imposed the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from U.S. power plants.

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is also under consideration, the sources said.


Biden is expected to make a slate of announcements this week that will be heavily scrutinized by the nation's environmental groups, the sources say, including his pick to run the EPA, domestic climate czar and the Interior Department.

The sources said the choices had not been finalized and the situation remained fluid.

Nichols' nomination now looks less likely as the president-elect seeks to diversify his Cabinet appointments, the sources said.

Dozens of environmental justice groups in California recently wrote a letter to Biden opposing Nichols, saying she too often sided with the industry. In an interview with Reuters last week, Nichols defended herself against the criticism, calling it "disappointing" and saying she stands by her work.

In recent days, Regan has emerged as a leading EPA candidate, according to three sources familiar with the process. Regan has run the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality since 2017 and has been part of the push to hold big companies like Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) accountable for pollution.

Under his leadership at the North Carolina agency, Duke Energy agreed to the largest coal ash cleanup in the United States in January.

Collin O'Mara, a Biden adviser and chief executive of the National Wildlife Federation, remains a possibility for the EPA, the sources said.

Biden considers former EPA chief McCarthy for domestic climate czar -sources

Related Articles

Biden invited to address U.S. Congress on April 28
Biden invited to address U.S. Congress on April 28 By Reuters - Apr 13, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday invited President Joe Biden to address a joint session of Congress on April 28. "I am writing to invite you to...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email