Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Environmental Nominees

Obama announced most of his energy and environment appointees yesterday evening. They are:

  • Steven Chu for Department of Energy
  • Lisa Jackson for Environmental Protection Agency
  • Nancy Sutley for White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Carol Browner for assistant to the president for energy and climate change
Chu looks like an inspired choice. It will be a major change to have someone with his depth of knowledge about energy running the department. It is encouraging that he is concerned with climate change and wants to improve energy efficiency. Lisa Jackson has inspired some controversy but seems to be far better than the last New Jerseyan picked for the job. In addition to her experience in the Clinton White House, Carol Browner chairs Audubon's board of directors. Nancy Sutley also has an interesting background. All told, the next four years ought to be a lot better than the previous eight.

The nominee to head the Interior Department has not been announced, but it appears to be Ken Salazar. From what I had read about him, Salazar seems an improvement over some of the other picks being floated, but not nearly as exciting as Raúl Grijalva would have been. The good news is that he opposes oil drilling in Arctic NWR (no more annual battles!) and oil shale development. The latter practice is a major killer of birds in the boreal forest and would probably have similar results if introduced to western states. He also has a good voting record.