After Senate rejection, Cooper picks new environment leader

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 25, 2021

RALEIGH (AP) —  Gov. Roy Cooper named on Thursday a longtime legislative lobbyist and environmental policy adviser as his next secretary for the environment, after the state Senate did not confirm his previous choice.

Elizabeth Biser, who’s been operating her own consulting business and working for a national group that promotes recycling, also will be subject to formal scrutiny by senators.

Senate Republicans voted down Cooper’s appointment of Dionne Delli-Gatti as secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality earlier this month, saying her reticence during her confirmation hearing about Cooper’s natural gas policy disqualified her for the post. Cooper, who called the Senate’s rejection baseless, immediately rehired Delli-Gatti as DEQ’s clean energy director.

Biser has been most recently senior policy adviser for The Recycling Partnership. Previously, she was a legislative liaison for DEQ’s predecessor agency and later represented at the General Assembly groups like Environmental Defense Action Fund and Friends of State Parks, as well as businesses and trade organizations.