Top 10 Questions for EPA Nominee Michael Regan

How will Biden’s EPA administrator find consensus amid
White House climate czars and Big Green, Inc.?

WASHINGTON DC (February 2, 2020) – Today, the American Energy Alliance (AEA) issued ten questions for tomorrow’s Senate Environment and Public Works Committee confirmation hearing of Michael S. Regan. AEA President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement ahead of the hearing:

“As a state regulator, Michael Regan has real-world experience balancing environmental protection and economic growth. He has approved projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and could be an effective contributor to America’s energy and environmental success story. However, he will have non-confirmed White House climate czars like Gina McCarthy and John Kerry to contend with. Time and time again, these individuals have shown their disdain for the natural gas, oil, and coal industries and have expressed no interest in compromise.

“It’s quite the conundrum Regan finds himself in – much of his resume focuses on working with energy producers, not seeking to put them out of business. Mr. Regan will be in a position where he can push back against unlawful regulations that unnecessarily, but intentionally drive up the price of energy on businesses and average Americans, but will the White House czars override him?”

Suggested questions from the American Energy Alliance:

  1. In 2018, under your leadership at the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), you approved a key permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline declaring “no stone [was] unturned in the exhaustive eight-month review” and that DEQ’s “efforts have resulted in a carefully crafted permit that includes increased environmental protections, while giving us the tools we need to continue close oversight of this project as it moves forward.”

On his first day in office, to appease extreme environmentalists, President Biden used his executive power to revoke a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which had been carefully reviewed for more than ten years. Would you have recommended that President Biden revoke the Keystone permit? How would you use your experience to restore integrity to the pipeline review process?

  1. If Keystone XL was denied on the basis of a negative impact to climate, where do you stand on the importation of solar panels and windmill components or rare earth minerals from China, a major world polluter? Under the Biden administration’s rationale, shouldn’t imports from China be halted just like crude oil from Canada?

3.The Biden administration appears fond of the term environmental justice. In your own words, could you please define what environmental justice means? Could the term be misused, abused, or altered to achieve a premeditated outcome?

  1. On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate the importance of keeping energy affordable, especially for lower-income citizens or those living on a fixed income?

If the Biden Administration’s climate proposals caused gasoline or utility prices to rise significantly, disproportionately hurting this demographic financially, would you advise the President to change course?

  1. The promise of green jobs is not new. On February 17, 2009 – less than one month into his first term, President Barack Obama signed a $787 Billion stimulus package into law and promised 5 million green jobs. In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued four reports admonishing his green jobs program.
    The findings exposed some very low standards and targets, and even those were not met.
    For instance, half of the training programs provided five or fewer days of training. Hardly a robust training for a full career.
    Over twenty percent of the “degrees” and certificates went to people with only one day of training.
    Job placement met only 10 percent of the targeted level and a much smaller fraction remained employed for at least six months.
    At a June 6, 2012 hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Chairman Darrell Issa forced the acting commission of the BLS to confirm that a list of jobs with dubious titles counted as green.
    Even including these ludicrous versions of “green,” the new green-job creation never came close to the 5 million promised in February 2009.
    Back then it was all about a clean energy-economy and green jobs. Fast forward to today, and the discussion is centered around climate justice. With Mr. Biden in the White House again, why will this round of green jobs be any more successful?
  2. Is the EPA concerned with the rise of electric vehicle battery fires? Do homes or businesses with charging stations for EVs present a higher fire risk? Similar to flood insurance for a homeowner who willing buys or builds a home in a known flood plain, would you support an increase in insurance for homeowners or businesses with charging stations to mitigate environmental damage from such fires?
  3. The EPA recently released a briefing paper on renewable energy waste management exposing the vast waste produced once solar panels, lithium-ion batteries and windmills reach the end of their useful life. If the Biden Administration dramatically increases its use of these technologies, what will your plan be for adequate recycling and disposal? Do you believe that certain locations, regions or states will become recipients of this waste similar to Yucca Mountain’s nuclear waste repository?
  4. The former EPA Administrator under President Obama, Gina McCarthy, now sits in a non-confirmed position at the White House. Will you be reporting to Ms. McCarthy, or will she be reporting to you?
  5. Prior to this position, Ms. McCarthy was the President & CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) which has sued the previous administration more than 100 times. Do you believe Ms. McCarthy should recuse herself from any policy or legal topics that the NRDC has sued the U.S. Government on? Why or why not?
  6. According to publicly available tax records, your previous employer, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), between the years 2008-16 received approximately 115 grants totaling more than $62 million from various foundations. These foundations have been charged with influencing public policy to intentionally stop the use of fossil fuels. Given your background and connection to EDF, how do you intend to remain impartial, fair and objective? Will you recuse yourself on any matters connected to EDF or these foundations?

Michal Regan’s confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin at 2:00pm EST on February 3, 2021 in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

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