Overview: Washington’s New Green Team

December 17, 2008 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

President Elect Barack Obama – who seems to have already done more work to improve our country in 6 weeks than Bush has in 8 years – has announced the names of the folks who will comprise his administration’s environmental team. And they rock. Here’s a brief overview:

Running the energy department will be Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist with real knowledge about climate and energy. Now, I know it’s hard to imagine a real scientist at work in the White House – just be brave and we’ll all get through this together.

Carol Browner has been assigned to the role of adviser on energy and environmental policy. Browner was the EPA chief under Clinton (and at the time, the longest serving EPA head ever), and she’s known to be a tough advocate for environmental protection, even when faced with opposition from within her own camp. A real tiger, that one.

And finally, the new EPA chief will be Lisa Jackson, who has been serving as New Jersey’s environmental head and was slated to be the state’s next chief of staff until Obama plucked her from Trenton and brought her to Washington. Her work in the Garden State included the establishment of a measure that would dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions (bringing them to 1990 levels by 2020). I look forward to seeing her do the same thing for the whole country.

I’m not a political analyst (which is too bad, because I really think we need more of them), and I honestly don’t know much about any of these people, so I recommend checking out the New York Times review of Obama’s Green Team, and their overviews of all the Obama team members. Unsurprisingly, the greenies get a big gold star.

In similar – but less happy – news, Obama’s pick for the new USDA Chief is a rather disappointing Tom Vilsack. This guy’s a former governor of Iowa with a long history of cuddling with agribusiness and loosening restrictions on farm pollution. Boo! Here’s what Grist has to say about it. And here’s them again on our current President’s latest eleventh-hour ruling, which exempts farms from reporting toxic air emissions. Stinky.

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