By TOM KRISHER
AP Auto Writer
DETROIT (AP) — A former California pollution regulator is being nominated to run the nation’s highway safety agency. President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced his intent to nominate Steven Cliff as administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. He has been deputy administrator since February. If confirmed by the Senate, Cliff would take over the agency at a crucial juncture. Highway deaths are rising, battery electric vehicles are upending the auto industry, and vehicle automation is spreading into more models with little regulation. The agency sets vehicle safety standards, finds safety defects and manages recalls. It has been without a confirmed administrator since Mark Rosekind left at the end of 2016.