December 11, 2008
The Obama Administration’s team to lead the Environmental Protections Agency and Department of Energy appears to be in place. Officials close to the Obama transition team announced that Lisa Jackson, the former head of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and current Chief of Staff for NJ Governor Jon Corzine, is expected to be named to the EPA’s top position in the coming weeks. Jackson, who spent 13 years at EPA, would be the first African American to serve as EPA Administrator.
Nobel Laureate Steven Chu, the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who won a Nobel Prize for physics in 1997, is in line to be nominated as Obama’s Energy Secretary. As noted by the New York Times, Dr. Chu will play a central role in directing the research and development of alternative energy sources needed to replace fossil fuels in a era of constrained carbon emissions. A proponent for controlling greenhouse gas emission, Chu’s research has included work on biofuels and solar energy.
In addition, Carol Browner, the EPA Administrator under President Clinton, will become the White House’s top official on climate and energy policy. According to the New York Times, Jackson and Browner, who have strong reputations for regulating industry, will be under pressure to revisit and overturn many of the clean-air rules and other regulations imposed during the Bush administration over the objections of environmentalists.