I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Obama’s energy/environment picks bode well for critics of Desert Rock
Looks like Barack Obama has settled on most of his energy and environment team leaders, and the choices signal a decided shift from the status quo. The Wall Street Journal calls the choices “Green Ink,” and has a good round-up of press reports on the selections.
Nobel Laureate Steven Chu, the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will be energy secretary. Chu believes that solving the climate crisis is essential, and he believes that new technologies have to be developed to get there. Not only will the impact of global warming be acknowledged, but Chu’s appointment signals the ramping up of federal investments into research and serious regard for scientific knowledge in general. This signals a sea change at the top, given the current administration’s reputation for favoring politics over science, or as some say, God over politics.
Carol M. Browner, the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief during the Clinton administration, will be Obama’s White House adviser on climate and energy policy, and Lisa P. Jackson, New Jersey’s commissioner of environmental protection, will head the EPA.
The New York Times describes Browner as an acolyte of Al Gore, and says both Browner and Jackson have strong tendencies in favor of regulating industry.
Grist has the best info on Jackson that I’ve found so far. It seems she has a reputation as a strong environmentalist who also has a realist streak. New Jersey Gov. John Corzine says this about her: “Lisa Jackson is, without question in my mind, someone who has overwhelmingly been successful as an environmentalist, but she has also been a person who understands that we have to move in a disciplined, thoughtful manner. We can’t do everything at once,” Corzine tells Think Progress. “I think Lisa has done a remarkable job of trying to move the environmental agenda forward within a constrained world.”
In New Jersey, Jackson has been in charge of implementing the state’s climate plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. This is one appointment many in New Mexico will watch with interest, as the EPA during the Bush administration has chosen to not consider carbon dioxide emissions when issuing air quality permits to facilities such as the proposed Desert Rock coal plant. The state of New Mexico is currently suing to overturn that permit, with the lack of consideration of carbon dioxide being one of the reasons cited.
Now we’re just waiting to see who interior secretary will be.