Obama Names Energy, Environment Agency Nominees

On Dec. 15, U.S. President-elect Barack Obama held a press conference where he named his latest nominees who will help "transform our economy so that our people are more prosperous, our nation is more secure, and our planet is protected."

The nominees are Steven Chu, Ph.D., secretary of energy; Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Carol Browner, assistant to the president for Energy and Climate Change; and Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for Energy and Climate Change.

To see video of the press conference, visit http://change.gov/newsroom/entry/the_energy_and_environment_team/

"All of us know the problems rooted in our addiction to foreign oil," Obama said. "It constrains our economy, shifts wealth to hostile regimes, and leaves us dependent on unstable regions. These urgent dangers are eclipsed only by the long-term threat of climate change, which – unless we act – will lead to drought and famine abroad, devastating weather patterns and terrible storms on our shores, and the disappearance of our coastline at home."

Obama said the United States must develop new forms of energy and new ways of using it. He went on to outline use of the nation's wind and solar energy, crops and technologies, as well as the innovation of scientists and entrepreneurs as the means to reach a hybrid economy. He also suggests that this effort can also be used to create jobs, starting with the 21st Century Economic Recovery Plan.

"We must also recognize that the solution to global climate change must be global. I spoke a few days ago with Sen. John Kerry, who updated me on the recent climate negotiations in Poland," Obama explained. "Just as we work to reduce our own emissions, we must forge international solutions to ensure that every nation is doing its part. As we do so, America will lead not just at the negotiating table – we will lead, as we always have, through innovation and discovery; through hard work and the pursuit of a common purpose."

Obama recognized his energy-environment team's experience and abilities.

Chu is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. He has worked as a scientist, teacher, and administrator, and recently led the Berkeley National Laboratory in pursuit of new alternative and renewable energies.

Jackson has spent a lifetime in public service at the local, state, and federal level. "As commissioner of New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection, she has helped make her state a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing new sources of energy," Obama said. "Lisa also shares my commitment to restoring the EPA's robust role in protecting our air, water, and abundant natural resources so that our environment is cleaner and our communities are safer."

Sutley has worked as a regional administrator for EPA, at the state level in Sacramento, and recently as the deputy mayor for Energy and the Environment in Los Angeles.

Because the energy effort demands coordination, Obama said he named Browner to a new post in the White House to coordinate energy and climate policy. "She brings the unmatched experience of being a successful and longest-serving administrator of the EPA," he said.

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