CBC applauds Biden-Harris noms as a step toward environmental justice

Brenda Mallory and Michael S. Regan have been nominated by Biden to address racial disparities in environmental policy

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Another announcement from the Biden-Harris administration, and this time it concerns the environment.

President-elect Joe Biden nominated Brenda Mallory to serve as Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and Michael S. Regan to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The selection of these experts will align with Biden’s pledge to address racial disparities around the environment, justice, and increase funding.

Brenda Mallory Michael S. Regan thegrio.com
(Credit: Stephanie Gross for Southern Environmental Law Center/ N.C. Department of Environmental Quality)

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The CBC was “pleased to see the priority placed on environmental justice in the Biden-Harris Administration,” announced in a statement Thursday.

“Our communities have long suffered the brunt of environmental degradation, with Black families more likely to live near factories, highways, and other sources of pollution that result in negative health outcomes like asthma,” said Rep. Karen Bass, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“For the past four years, the Trump Administration has sought to tear away the very laws and regulations that help keep our air, water, and land clean and safe, all for the sake of fast-tracking projects for big contractors. The Biden-Harris Administration will not only help reverse the damage of the last four years but center the conversation of environmental protection and sustainability around the communities most harmed by pollution and climate change.”

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(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Mallory has decades’ worth of experience and is currently the regulatory policy director at the Southern Environmental Law Center. If Mallory is confirmed, she would be the first Black person to lead the Council on Environmental Quality. Bass stressed that this would be critical in helping the federal government coordinate its policy concerning the environment.

“As an environmental attorney by training, Mallory brings a wealth of experience, having previously served as the Council’s general counsel under President Barack Obama, as well as counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency,” according to the statement.

Similarly, Regan would be the first Black man to lead the EPA if the Senate confirms his nomination. His credentials include having served under former Presidents Clinton and Bush and creating the Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board to help low-income and minority communities that disproportionately suffered from being exposed to harmful pollutants in North Carolina. 

“Both Brenda Mallory and Michael Regan are champions of environmental justice issues and we applaud their historic appointments to the Biden-Harris Administration. We look forward to a swift Senate confirmation and the work ahead on behalf of vulnerable communities around the country,” Bass said.

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