The announced team will advance a Biden agenda of “leading the world to confront the climate crisis”, as the Democrat has outlined his commitment to address climate change issues in his policy, pledging to create “good-paying union jobs”, build “resilient communities”, and make “historic investments in environmental justice”.
US President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday announced key members of his ‘climate team’, revealing his nominations for several positions: Congresswoman Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior; Governor Jennifer Granholm for Secretary of Energy; Michael Regan for EPA administrator; Brenda Mallory to chair the Council on Environmental Quality; administrator Gina McCarthy for National Climate Advisor; and Ali Zaidi for Deputy National Climate Advisor.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris named the climate crisis as “a grave and growing threat to the American people and the planet we all share”, expressing confidence that the newly-announced team would help make “the most ambitious climate plans in history” a reality.
The nominations were welcomed by many as “historic”, with former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton among the first to praise Biden’s choices.
In particular, she marked the appointment of Haaland as “a proud, historic moment for our country”.
Secretary of the Interior
Deb Haaland has been chosen by Biden as the incoming Secretary of Interior.
One of the first two Native American women elected to the US Congress, Haaland would make the first Native American Cabinet secretary in the history of the United States.
As chairwoman of the Laguna Development Corporation Board of Directors, she successfully advocated for the corporation to implement eco-friendly business practices.
After the announcement, she took to Twitter to express her gratitude for the appointment and readiness to serve.
Secretary of Energy
For the position of Energy Secretary, Biden picked Jennifer Granholm, a former Michigan governor.
The first woman to become the governor of Michigan, she served in position from 2003 to 2011. Granholm was also a member of the transition team of former US President Barack Obama, and he reportedly considered her for possible appointment to the US Supreme Court.
She also tweeted a statement regarding her nomination, saying that she is grateful “for the support and the collective commitment to clean energy and a healthy planet.”
Michael Regan, chosen by Biden to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, is the head of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.
This will not be his first time working in the EPA, as he was previously part of the EPA during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, serving as a national program manager responsible for designing programs aimed at reducing pollution and improving energy efficiency and air quality.
Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality
Biden picked Brenda Mallory for this position, a lawyer specializing in environmental law.
Currently, she serves as the Director of Regulatory Policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center.
Mallory was also part of the Obama administration as General Counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
In her Twitter account, she expressed gratitude for her nomination.
National Climate Advisor, Deputy National Climate Advisor
Administrator Gina McCarthy, chosen by the President-elect as an incoming National Climate Advisor, is an environmental health and air quality expert. She also served as the 13th Administrator of the EPA from 2013 to 2017.
In her Twitter, McCarthy shared goals for the future position.
Her future deputy, Ali A. Zaidi, is an American lawyer and policy advisor, who was the New York deputy secretary for energy and environment and held climate policy positions in the Obama administration.
Zaidi took to Twitter to comment on his appointment, saying that he is “profoundly humbled, deeply honored, and so ready to get to work”.