via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.
Browner, Chu and Jackson to direct environment,
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President-elect Barack Obama has decided
on his nominees for an energy czar (Carol Browner), Energy Secretary (Asian-American
Steven Chu from Los Angeles), and Environmental Protection Agency administrator
(Lisa P. Jackson from New Jersey), according to Democratic sources
familiar with the coming announcements.
Carol Browner is the best known, having served as
EPA administrator for President Clinton. She will coordinate energy
policy from the White House, like the role Lawrence Summers will have
coordinating economic policy at the National Economic Council (NEC).
She is married to Tom Downey. a former New York congressman. Browner
is currently a principal at global strategy firm The Albright Group
LLC, and heads Obama's advisory team on energy and the environment.
She was previously legislative director for then-Sen. Al Gore (D-Tenn.)
and later head of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
under then-Gov. Lawton Chiles (D).
Browner will get mixed reactions (at best) from production agriculture
Steven Chu, the son of Chinese immigrants,
is currently director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,
and a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. At the Lawrence Berkeley laboratory,
he has sponsored research into biofuels and solar energy.
Lisa P. Jackson was profiled in a previous column
when sources said she had the inside track -- and that assessment proved
accurate. She is currently chief of staff for New Jersey Democratic
Gov. Jon Corzine, but served for several years before that as the commissioner
for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. She formerly
worked in the Clinton administration's EPA and is a native of New Orleans.
Nancy Sutley will reportedly be named chairwoman of
the president's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). She is now Los
Angeles's deputy mayor for energy and environment and was formerly in
President Clinton's EPA (she was a top aide to Browner at the EPA dealing
with air-pollution issues). The CEQ advises the President and Vice President
on national and international environmental policy matters and works
to ensure that federal agencies operate efficiently and in accordance
with the National Environmental Policy Act. Sutley was an energy advisor
to California Gov. Gray Davis, was deputy secretary for policy and intergovernmental
relations within the California Environmental Protection Agency, and
served on the California State Water Resources Control Board. Sutley,
whose mother is from Argentina, identifies herself as a Latina.
Obama plans to name the environmental team
next week in Chicago.
Comments: As expected,
Obama is turning left in his latest nominees. Some of the nominees
will clearly focus on the need to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases.
Renewable energy will also be a focus -- in part because of Obama's support
for the topic. It will be interesting to see what Chu and especially Browner
have to say about renewable energy, and corn-based ethanol in particular.
California waiver denial rethink ahead. Browner has
previously said that the new administration should direct the EPA to
reconsider the decision by the Bush administration to deny California
a waiver from the Clean Air Act that would have allowed the state to
regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.
The EPA administrator nominee, Lisa P. Jackson, would be the
third African-American nominated for a Cabinet post, after
United Nations Ambassador-nominee Susan Rice, and Attorney General-nominee
Eric Holder. It will put to rest errant conjecture as recently as
today that Obama would pick controversial candidate Robert Kennedy Jr.
for the position.
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retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.