Obama Nominates Energy, Environment Posts
President-elect Barack Obama on Monday, named his picks to head the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Steven Chu, the winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics, was nominated to head the Energy Department, while Lisa Jackson, former head of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, will run the Environmental Protection Agency.
Dr. Chu has been an early advocate for alternative energy solutions, he once stated that “we have all the technology we need to solve the energy problem; it is only a matter of political will.”
Jackson, a Princeton University-educated chemical engineer, will be the first African-American to head the agency if she receives confirmation.
“In the 21st century, we know that the future of our economy and national security is inextricably linked with one challenge: energy,” Obama told a news conference. “All of us know the problems that are rooted in our addiction to foreign oil. It constrains our economy, shifts wealth to hostile regimes and leaves us dependent on unstable regions.”
The Obama regime seems poised to push America towards finding new environmentally friendly renewable technologies.
“To control our own destiny, America must develop new forms of energy and new ways of using it,” said Obama. “And this is not a challenge for government alone – it’s a challenge for all of us.”
The appointment of Jackson to head the EPA is not going over well with everyone. In a letter to the transition team, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a group that represents environmentally-minded state and federal employees, said it was “distressed” that Jackson was under consideration.
The group said that while Jackson had “a compelling biography”, she did not deserve the promotion. They cited an EPA inspector general report that found that New Jersey failed to use its authority to expedite cleanups at seven hazardous waste sites.
The President-elect’s plan of creating 2.5 million jobs will have a lot coming from the ‘green’ sector.
“We can create millions of jobs, starting with a 21st century economic recovery plan that puts Americans to work building wind farms, solar panels, and fuel-efficient cars,” said Obama.
Obama also said that his nomination of Chu should send a signal his administration will “value science.”
Chu is currently the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Obama also named former Environmental Protection Agency chief Carol Browner as a coordinator of energy and climate policy, and Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Nancy Sutley to run the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
The latest appointments are being seen by as an all-out blitz by the incoming Obama administration to tackle the issues of energy, environment and security at the same time.