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Renewable Vibes > News > Blog > How Joseph Goffman’s Confirmation in the Senate Could Benefit Climate Action and Equity

How Joseph Goffman’s Confirmation in the Senate Could Benefit Climate Action and Equity

The recent decision to replace John Kerry with John Podesta as the top U.S. climate diplomat has garnered a lot of attention. However, there is another presidential appointee who could have a significant impact on the nation’s efforts to address climate change, and that is Joseph Goffman, the newly confirmed assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to The Hill, the Senate confirmed Goffman to stay on permanently as the EPA’s assistant administrator. Goffman had been serving as the agency’s acting assistant administrator since President Joe Biden took office, but his nomination was repeatedly delayed due to opposition from some senators, including Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who frequently opposes climate-related policies.

Goffman’s confirmation is seen as a big deal by many environmentalists because he will be in charge of the EPA’s office of air and radiation. In this role, he will oversee the development and implementation of important EPA rules aimed at reducing the nation’s harmful air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Biden administration has proposed a series of new rules to significantly reduce carbon emissions from power plants, as well as from new trucks and cars. These rules are expected to be finalized this year, making the timing of Goffman’s confirmation even more significant.

Another important rule proposed by the administration is the regulation of particulate matter pollution, or PM2.5, which consists of microscopic airborne particles that cause various serious health conditions and disproportionately affect low-income households and communities of color. This rule has been a priority for environmental justice advocates, and it is expected to prevent up to 4,200 premature deaths per year.

However, these new rules face opposition from industry groups and Republican lawmakers who argue that they will place undue financial burdens on businesses. Despite this opposition, environmental groups believe that Goffman will not be swayed by lobbying efforts, as he has a track record of attaining results and is known for his expertise in environmental law.

Before joining the Biden administration, Goffman worked as the executive director for Harvard University’s Environmental Law Program. He also served under the Obama administration as the EPA’s associate assistant administrator for climate and senior counsel in the agency’s office of air and radiation. During that time, he played a key role in shaping Obama’s Clean Power Plan and was involved in the development of regulations for air pollution, mercury emissions, and greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas facilities.

Goffman’s confirmation was met with criticism from Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, who called his actions a “disaster for our country.” However, EPA Administrator Michael Reagan celebrated the moment, praising Goffman’s ability to build consensus among stakeholders and craft policies that address climate change and pollution concerns.

In conclusion, Joseph Goffman’s confirmation as the EPA’s assistant administrator is significant for the nation’s efforts to address climate change. As the head of the agency’s office of air and radiation, he will play a crucial role in developing and implementing landmark EPA rules to reduce harmful air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Despite opposition from industry groups and Republican lawmakers, Goffman’s track record and expertise in environmental law make him a trusted figure in the environmental community.

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