Tracking the transition: environmental picks


We’re hearing this morning that President-elect Barack Obama has settled on a handful of appointments for key positions handling energy and environmental issues. Among the likely picks:

  • Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to serve as secretary of the Energy Department.
  • Lisa Jackson, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Carol Browner, former EPA administrator during the Clinton administration, to serve in a new White House position coordinating energy and climate control initiatives across goverment.
  • Nancy Sutley, deputy mayor for energy and environment in Los Angeles, to head the White House  Council on Environmental Quality.

The four will be charged with carrying out key environmental and energy goals in the Obama administration, including creating millions of green collar jobs through new investments in clean enegy sources.

The picks would also continue a pledge by Obama to have a diverse cabinet. Chu would be the first person of Chinese descent to head the Energy Department. Jackson, if confirmed, would be the first African American to head the EPA, where discrimination against a black employee there led to a landmark 2002 law holding agencies and managers accountable for discrimination. Sutley is a Latino and would be the first openly gay nominee for a high-level post in the Obama administration.


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