President-elect Joe Biden this week announced his choices for the top environment and energy positions in his administration. All are climate alarmists, which confirms earlier indications that the Biden administration is going to be organized around climate change and energy-rationing policies despite the fact that polls continue to show that most Americans rate climate change near the bottom of their public concerns.
Biden said that he would nominate Michael Regan, currently secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and an Obama administration veteran, to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Regan has kept a low profile at the North Carolina DEQ.
For Secretary of the Department of the Interior, his choice is Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico. Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm will be nominated to serve as Secretary of Energy. Rep. Haaland is a cosponsor of the Green New Deal. She has opposed oil and gas production on federal lands and supported a ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing. These are curious policy positions for someone representing New Mexico to take, since the state receives 40 percent of its revenue from federal royalty sharing paid by oil and gas produced from federal subsurface rights.
Biden also announced that Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator in the Obama administration, will be the White House senior adviser on climate change and will be in charge of coordinating climate policies across the federal government. McCarthy was chief architect of the Obama EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions rules, which were repealed and replaced by the Trump EPA. Ali Zaidi, currently deputy secretary of energy and environment in New York state, will serve as McCarthy’s deputy.
McCarthy and Zaidi will join John Kerry, Brenda Mallory, Neera Tanden, and Brian Deese on the White House’s climate team. Kerry, former Secretary of State in the second Obama term and longtime Senator, was earlier announced as the president’s special climate envoy.
Biden this week said he would nominate Brenda Mallory to be director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Mallory is currently at the Southern Environmental Law Center, but was general counsel at CEQ in the Obama administration and before that was a lawyer at the EPA. She has focused on environmental justice issues during her career.
Deese has been picked to serve as chairman of the White House National Economic Council. In the Obama administration, Deese served on the NEC staff and then as Obama’s “climate czar.” He played a key role in negotiating the Paris climate treaty in 2015.
Tanden, who has been nominated to be director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, is currently president of the Center for American Progress and has been a prominent advocate for drastic climate policies. As a Hilary Clinton loyalist, she has said and tweeted many critical comments about Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and about numerous Republican Senators, which makes her confirmation quite uncertain.
The climate team also includes Pete Buttigieg, nominated to be Secretary of Transportation, and Janet Yellen, Biden’s pick for Secretary of the Treasury. Buttigieg is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana. As a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2019-2020, he called climate change a national emergency and the Green New Deal “the right beginning” of a broader plan.
Yellen is a well-known economist and also a veteran of Democratic administrations. She served as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton administration and was nominated by President Obama to serve as chairman of the Federal Reserve, which she did from 2014 to 2018. She has long advocated for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, cap-and-trade, and similar policies.