The North Carolina Pork Council issued the following statement today regarding the confirmation hearing for Michael Regan as secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency:

We are proud that a North Carolinian has been nominated to be U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. As secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, Michael Regan took the time to visit our farms and learn about the pork industry and kept the door open for continued dialogue. While we haven’t always seen eye to eye, we generally found him to be fact-based and thoughtful about decisions related to our industry.

We feel it is important to have someone, like Regan, who is familiar with the environmental issues facing agriculture and feeding a growing population, including the critical role agriculture will continue to play in addressing the climate crisis. As an industry, we are committed to continuous improvement. Today, the U.S. pork industry accounts for only 0.4% of greenhouse gases, and over the last 50 years, we have decreased land use by almost 50% and water use by 25%, while at the same time doubling the amount of pork produced.

In North Carolina, we are working to become a leader in renewable natural gas production by capturing methane from hog lagoons and injecting it into the natural gas pipeline infrastructure. This process reduces emissions from our farms and offsets the amount of fossil gas used. The first project is producing enough renewable energy to power about 880 homes each year. The industry is currently awaiting approval for a second project that can power an additional 4,500 homes.

We look forward to continuing to work with Regan in his new role once he is confirmed.