How Green Are Obama's Cabinet Picks?
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EPA Administrator: Lisa Jackson
While many enviros have had nice things to say about Jackson, she's been a controversial figure in New Jersey, where she served as commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection from February 2006 to November 2008. Some N.J. groups say she's done great work on climate, energy, and clean water, but others have been critical, particularly of her handling of toxic waste sites.
At her Jan. 14 confirmation hearing, Jackson promised that "scientific integrity and the rule of law" would be her guiding principles at the EPA.
Secretary of Energy: Steven Chu
Steven Chu, Nobel Prize-winning physicist and director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been an advocate for clean energy and is widely respected in the environmental community. Watch him discuss energy issues.
At his Jan. 13 confirmation hearing, Chu was warmly received, but quizzed about his skepticism toward coal.
Secretary of the Interior: Ken Salazar
Some grassroots conservationists from the West are unhappy with the Salazar nomination, though some big, national green groups are saying nice things about him.
At his Jan. 15 confirmation hearing, Salazar pledged to "clean up the mess" at the Department of Interior.
Secretary of Agriculture: Tom Vilsack
The sustainable-agriculture community is disappointed in the choice of Vilsack, who has been a big booster of agribusiness and genetically modified crops. But two Iowa food activists say Vilsack is someone progressives can work with (see here and here).
Read a 2007Grist interview with Vilsack.
Vilsack encountered no resistance at his Jan. 14 confirmation hearing.
Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change: Carol Browner
Browner, who was EPA administrator during the entire Clinton administration, has been a long-time acolyte of Al Gore.
And watch her discuss energy and climate.
Chair of Council on Environmental Quality: Nancy Sutley
Sutley is generally well respected in the environmental community; folks think she'll work well with chief energy adviser Carol Browner, noting that the two worked together previously at the Clinton EPA.
And watch her discuss transit and green jobs.
At her Jan. 14 confirmation hearing, Sutley pledged to be "the voice for the environment" in the White House.
Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change: Heather Zichal
Read a 2008
NOAA Administrator: Jane Lubchenco
Jane Lubchenco is an accomplished marine scientist and long-time conservationist who has been vocal about the dangers posed by climate change.
Science Advisor: John Holdren
Holdren, a Harvard physicist, has been outspoken about the need to fight climate change.
Secretary of Labor: Hilda Solis
Solis is expected to champion green jobs at the Labor Department. She will be charged with implementing the Green Jobs Act, which she helped to push through Congress in 2007. She's been a long-time advocate for environmental justice and ally of the labor movement.
At her Jan. 9 confirmation hearing, Solis talked up green jobs.
Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton
Clinton -- who will be overseeing international climate negotiations -- had a strong climate and energy platform during her presidential run.
Read a 2007 Grist interview with Clinton.
At her Jan. 13 confirmation hearing, Clinton cited climate change as a key diplomatic concern.
Secretary of Transportation: Ray LaHood
Enviros and urban planners don't quite know what to make of LaHood.
Secretary of Homeland Security: Janet Napolitano
National Security Advisor: James L. Jones
Some environmentalists are worried about Jones, noting that he serves on the board of Chevron Corp. and is head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy, which is often at odds with enviros over energy issues.
Read up on Jones' energy views and how they may or may not matter within the National Security Council.
Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Peter Orszag
Chief of Staff: Rahm Emanuel
Emanuel -- who will be charged with running the White House and implementing the president agenda -- got high marks from the League of Conservation Voters during his time in the U.S. House.
Secretary of Commerce
Bill Richardson withdrew himself from nomination for commerce secretary on Jan. 4.