Biden to name Obama administration veteran as EPA chief of staff

Dan Utech Image: LinkedIn

The Biden administration is poised to name Dan Utech, who worked on climate change and energy issues during the Obama years, as the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief of staff, according to a person familiar with the matter.

He’s the founder of Climate Strategies, a consulting firm that advises non-governmental organizations on climate change policy and advocacy, according to his LinkedIn page. 

Utech was President Barack Obama’s deputy assistant for energy and climate change. At the Energy Department before that, he was a senior adviser to the secretary.

He was also an adviser to Hillary Clinton when she was in the Senate.

As chief of staff – a position that does not require Senate confirmation – Utech will play a pivotal role managing the agency’s wide-ranging priorities under President Joe Biden. The EPA is on the front lines of policy over combating climate change and safeguarding the environment.

The agency is expected to swiftly begin work rewriting Trump administration rules and stiffening limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, automobiles and oil wells. The EPA’s policies are seen as key to helping Biden achieve a goal of a zero-emissions energy grid by 2035 and carbon net-neutrality by 2050.

Biden has nominated Michael Regan, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, to be his EPA administrator. As Regan awaits Senate confirmation, the agency is being led by Acting Administrator Jane Nishida, the principal deputy assistant head of the Office of International and Tribal Affairs.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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