North Carolina Environment Chief Michael Regan Isn’t Picking Sides


President Biden’s pick for EPA, North Carolina Environment chief Michael Regan is not tipping his hand on either the Renewable Fuel Standard or the Obama Waters of the U.S. rule reversed by President Trump. The Biden EPA will decide demand for billions of gallons of ethanol and millions of bushels of corn, soybean and other crops as it makes untold regulatory, legal and legislative RFS and WOTUS decisions. But Biden’s pick to lead EPA Michael Regan tipped his hand little to the Environment panel at his confirmation hearing. “The president has indicated that agriculture will have a seat at the table in this administration, especially as it relates to climate change. And there is a commitment that, following the science and following the letter of the law, the intentions of the RFS will be a top priority for us.”

And asked by Iowa Republican Joni Ernst if he intends to rescind the Trump Navigable Waters Protection Rule that undid WOTUS, Regan said he’ review the issue as Biden has directed, but still talk with farmers. “And take a look at what do we need to do to provide some certainty to our farming community, especially our small farmers, so that decisions can be made and investments are not stranded on the sidelines.” But do so in a way, Regan says still protects water quality.

At the American Farm Bureau, WOTUS point-person Don Parrish predicts Biden’s EPA will face strong pressure from “hard left” Democrats to try as Obama did to regulate all U.S. water. “If they move back in the direction to remove clarity from the definition of what constitutes a water of the United States, then I think you’re going to have to have farmers go into the Corps and EPA, and ask for permission every time they put a plow in the ground. I hope they don’t go there, but there seems to be a lot of pressure on this administration to go in that direction.”
Parrish says the courts so far have ruled, the Obama WOTUS exceeded EPA’s Clean Water Act authority and Supreme Court precedent and would certainly end up at the high court if renewed, except with a 6-3, versus 5-4, conservative majority.