A Nobel Prize winner -- no not that Nobel Prize winner -- will head the Obama Administration's Energy Department, while a former state-level environmental chief will lead the Environmental Protection Agency and Clinton's former EPA chief will step into a new role as an "energy czar."
The Department of Energy is mostly about nuclear weapons and nuclear power, along with a bunch of energy industry analysts, but it also holds the biggest grouping in the world of renewable energy researchers. Chu -- unlike Al Gore, that other Nobel Prize winner -- doesn't believe that the world has all the technology it needs to solve the global warming crisis ... which means he's likely to push for increased research. That's a good thing. Also a good thing: He believes there's a global warming crisis.
Andy Revkin's DotEarth blog has more on Chu.
A former Clinton EPA official and more recently the head of New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection, Jackson has a mixed record in the most densely populated U.S. state, if local environmental groups are to be believed.
The New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club had kind words about Jackson, according to the Associated Press, but a coalition of smaller groups expressed concerns about the agency's allegedly lax enforcement of environmental laws, like the cleanup of hazardous waste sites.
"While I like her personally, I have found her leadership of the NJDEP to be remarkable in its failures, and shudder at the thought of her leading our nation's environmental protector," Bob Spiegel, the executive director of the Edison Wetlands Association, wrote to the Obama Administration recently.
Browner is a well-respected environmental advocate, having led Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, advised Gore as a senator, led Clinton's EPA, chaired the National Audubon Society, and most recently acted as a private attorney and investment adviser on issues related to climate, energy and the environment.
The only question is exactly what she'll do, since her title and responsibilities aren't clearly outlined.
Sutley, the Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for energy and environment, has been involved in that city's significant greening efforts, such as its goal of drawing 10% of its power from the sun, its requirement that public buildings meet LEED green building standards, its effort to improve carpooling and public transportation in the notoriously freeway-based region and its plan to plant 1 million trees.
In a speech delivered via video to a bipartisan climate summit in California in November, Obama pledged to take strong action to combat global warming. Here's what he had to say:
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