February 04, 2021

Duckworth Secures EPA Nominee’s Commitment to Prioritize Farmers, Climate Change & Environmental Justice


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), senior-most Democrat on the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, yesterday called for a swift confirmation of Michael Regan, President Biden’s nominee to be Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at Regan’s nomination hearing. Duckworth discussed several important issues with Regan, including restoring the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to better support farmers and rural communities, working to end climate change and prioritizing environmental justice. A video of Duckworth’s remarks during Regan’s confirmation hearing is available here.

“Michael Regan’s experience advocating for policies that keep our environment safe, support public health and promote clean air and water will prepare him well to lead President Biden’s EPA. I’m pleased he agreed to work with me in supporting America’s farmers and championing advanced biofuels to address the climate crisis,” said Duckworth. “It was also encouraging that Mr. Regan affirmed the critical importance of addressing environmental and public health challenges for all Americans, particularly low income Americans and communities of color. I hope he is confirmed quickly so that we can get to work.

Duckworth met virtually with Regan last month to discuss how environmental justice continues to be a challenge for thousands of Americans, especially communities of color, and how the Federal Government can work for every person’s right to a safe, healthy and livable environment. Duckworth has been a strong advocate of safe, livable environments for all Americans. She co-founded the Senate’s first-ever Environmental Justice Caucus in April 2019 to raise awareness of the many environmental and pollution issues that have created public health challenges, which disproportionately impact low income communities and communities of color. Duckworth also helped introduce the Environmental Justice for All Act last summer with then-Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) to achieve health equity and climate justice for all.

Duckworth has also been a longtime supporter of our agriculture sector, including farmers and ranchers. She is an advocate for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which supports a $5 billion biofuel industry in Illinois that employs more than 4,000 people. Last June, Duckworth introduced the RFS Integrity Act of 2019 to make applications for small refinery exemptions (SRE) public and create more certainty for rural America. In this year’s America’s Water Infrastructure Act, Duckworth also helped secure a provision to increase inland waterways cost sharing for lock and dam modernization projects on the Illinois and Upper Mississippi Rivers, which give farmers and competitive advantage in the global market.