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Cooper Names New Environment Secretary

Gov. Roy Cooper has named another respected scientist and experienced advocate as his nominee to lead the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), tapping Dionne Delli-Gatti to take the spot soon to be vacated by Michael Regan, who is now President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Delli-Gatti’s public service includes six years with the EPA Atlanta Regional Office, as well as experience as the Director of Southeast Climate and Energy for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). “Dionne Delli-Gatti is an experienced leader and champion for a safer, healthier environment. I’m confident that she is the right person to continue the progress we’ve made over the last four years with cleaner energy, air and water,” said Cooper.

Dan Crawford, our Director of Governmental Relations, praised the selection. “There was a big void at DEQ where Michael Regan’s leadership had been, and Gov. Cooper had a monumental task replacing him. But in Dionne Delli-Gatti, he has picked someone who understands both policy and politics. Having worked with Dionne for years, we’re confident she’ll be able to bring regulators, legislators, industry, and community stakeholders together to advance clean energy and environmental justice for every North Carolinian.”

In her position at EDF, Delli-Gatti had occasion to comment on DEQ’s work to pursue both clean energy and environmental justice. She wrote, “North Carolina must tailor climate solutions for a just transition to a zero-carbon future. It’s critical that strategies are crafted to not inadvertently burden front line communities by simply swapping environmental concerns for economic ones. We support DEQ’s recommendations to address equitable access and energy affordability, especially as they pertain to low-income and energy burdened communities that have historically been disproportionately impacted by electric power generation.”

The U.S. Senate is likely to confirm Regan for that post early this week, and Delli-Gatti’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the state Senate. Click here to tell Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to support Regan!

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