Cooper choice for environment job advances in confirmation

August 18, 2021 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s latest pick to run the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality received the formal bipartisan backing Wednesday of a Senate committee who had questioned her the day before.

Republicans leading the Senate environment panel praised Elizabeth Biser before advancing a confirmation resolution that would make her the permanent Cabinet secretary to another committee.

Biser is formerly a legislative lobbyist and environmental policy adviser who once worked for the department’s predecessor agency. Several committee members who spoke with her during Tuesday’s confirmation hearing said they were impressed with her.

Cooper had originally chosen Dionne Delli-Gatti to be his second-term environment secretary and succeed Michael Regan, now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator.


But Senate Republicans decided in a floor vote not to confirm Delli-Gatti, saying she was ill-prepared for the job. They were particularly unhappy with her response to questions about natural gas policy and pipelines.

On Tuesday in response to natural gas questions, Biser said she supported Cooper’s energy strategy to locate a mix of fuel sources “that are clean, affordable and available.” And she said her agency would evaluate natural gas pipeline work permits coming to her office like any other request, by following rules and regulations.