Obama picks US green team

President-elect Barack Obama plans to hold a press conference today to formally announce members of his energy and environment team, according to the NY Times. The rollout is expected to include Steven Chu for energy secretary, Lisa Jackson as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Carol Browner to lead the policy council on environment and energy, and Nancy Sutley to direct the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu is said to be a strong advocate of alternative and renewable energy research and would be the first Asian-American to lead the department. Scanning the world wide web of intrigues, it seems that Chu is against coal but a proponent of nuclear energy. I wonder how that will sit with environmentalists? But according to several other green blogs, Chu will be very much welcomed in the bossom of green groups.Lisa Jackson, the chief of staff for the governor of the northeastern state of New Jersey was previously New Jersey’s environmental protection commissioner. A chemical engineer, Jackson had reportedly brought a more policy-driven approach to New Jersey’s historically politicized Department of Environmental Protection as its commissioner. We will see how the chemical industry will react to this news although gathering from some websites is that she was reportedly weak in enforcing clean-up in New Jersey’s toxic waste sites. Jackson would also be the first African-American to lead the EPA department.

Carol M. Browner led the EPA for eight years during the Clinton administrator and was previously a Senate aide to former Vice President Al Gore. Not much was gathered about Browner except that she is a strict enforcer of environmental laws and her husband is apparently a big lobbyist, according to NY Times.

Last but not the least, Nancy Sutley is currently a deputy mayor for energy and environment in Los Angeles and was previously Browner’s special assistant at the EPA. The green blog did not also get much information about her except that she’s from California, and that information might be enough for chemical industry associations who frequently deals with California…

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