Educated guesses on Biden’s presidency: Potential return of regs like speed limiters and apnea screening, and a renewed focus on emissions

December 16, 2020

President-elect Biden so far has made clear his intent on climate policy. One of his first major announcements regarding personnel after being declared the winner of the 2020 presidential race Nov. 7 was naming John Kerry, former Senator and Secretary of State, his so-called “special envoy on climate.” And just this week, he named Gina McCarthy, the Obama-era head of the Environmental Protection Agency, as the incoming administration’s “climate czar.”

According to reports from The Washington Post and NPR, the pair will work in tandem to make climate policy a focus across all federal departments, including the U.S. DOT, obviously, and its sub-agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Kerry, more broadly, will be working internationally on coordinating climate policies, while McCarthy will focus more on domestic issues. What their roles mean in terms of rubber-on-the-road policy is unclear, though WaPo reports the moves are intended to “maximize executive authority” to address climate policy in the absence of Congressional action.