President-elect Joe Biden is expected to soon announce his choices for two crucial positions in his administration — the Secretary of Energy and the White House climate coordinator.
Granholm served two terms as Michigan’s governor and supports a U.S. transition to zero carbon, according to Politico. She’s worked closely with the auto industry and could use those relationships to speed up electric vehicle deployment and infrastructure.
A low-carbon recovery plan will help Michigan create good jobs, build resilience against future shocks and support its middle class. Leading businesses in Michigan agree. Read my latest op-ed in the @detroitnews: https://t.co/ujIWV43njO
— Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm) November 9, 2020
McCarthy previously served in President Barack Obama’s EPA and is currently the CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council. She believes climate and clean energy should be considered in every department of Biden’s administration.
Every department in the Biden administration should be centering climate action and clean energy in their federal policies and investments. And they should do it in a way that continues to advance labor interests and environmental justice in communities across the country. https://t.co/8D3HDP2Flm
— Gina McCarthy (@GinaNRDC) December 7, 2020
McCarthy would work as the domestic counterpart to global climate envoy John Kerry.
Environment America’s Acting President Wendy Wendlandt issued the following statement in response to Biden’s nomination of McCarthy, Granholm and Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation:
“With these picks, President-elect Biden is acting on his campaign promise to prioritize climate action. All three bring a wealth of experience and qualifications to help the Biden administration resolve climate issues through shifts in clean energy and transportation policy. Each is demonstrably committed to building a cleaner, healthier future for all Americans — all of which is necessary to create smart, comprehensive and durable solutions.
“Governor Granholm has collaborated with the utility and auto sectors to forge a strong path forward on renewable energy and low carbon solutions to powering our country. Mayor Buttigieg’s campaign platform talked about building a clean transportation future and a commitment to ensuring that Americans can get around safely and conveniently, while cleaning up our air and cutting fossil fuel emissions. And, former EPA Administrator McCarthy is one of America’s most experienced and qualified environmental leaders. She has worked tirelessly for decades for a stable climate. Together with special envoy on climate John Kerry, this duo will bring assurance to the international community that the U.S. is ready once again to tackle the climate crisis,” Wendlandt continued.
The Biden-Harris Transition Team published the following press release on the President-elect’s slate of climate-related nominations:
The undeniable, accelerating, punishing reality of climate change is exacting an incalculable toll on lives and livelihoods in every community across the country. This team knows that science demands we address climate change immediately and that our response must be grounded in science. The team will turn the climate crisis into an unprecedented opportunity to create millions of good paying union jobs in communities across the country; powering our economy with clean energy and positioning the United States as an exporter of 21st century products; and making our economy stronger and more resilient. They will work closely with communities who bear the outsized burden of environmental injustice, including Tribal Nations and communities of color, and young Americans who will live with the long-term consequences of climate change.
“This brilliant, tested, trailblazing team will be ready on day one to confront the existential threat of climate change with a unified national response rooted in science and equity. They share my belief that we have no time to waste to confront the climate crisis, protect our air and drinking water, and deliver justice to communities that have long shouldered the burdens of environmental harms. Together, on behalf of all Americans, they will meet this moment with the urgency it demands — and seize the opportunity to build back better with good-paying union jobs, climate-resilient infrastructure, and a clean energy future that benefits every single community,” said President-elect Joe Biden.
“From the wildfires across California and the west to the storms battering our coasts, our climate crisis is a grave and growing threat to the American people and the planet we all share. On the campaign, President-elect Biden and I proposed one of the most ambitious climate plans in history. The team we are announcing today will help make that plan a reality. They are seasoned public servants and climate experts who reflect the very best of our country. They have the knowledge and experience to confront this global challenge head-on with our allies and partners around the world. And they are the team the American people need and deserve to help protect our communities — and our planet — for generations,” said Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
This tested team of bold thinkers know how to pull every lever of government to take on the urgent, existential threat of climate change:
- Congresswoman Deb Haaland is nominated to serve as Secretary of the Interior. Haaland is a barrier-breaking public servant who has spent her career fighting for families, including in Tribal Nations, rural communities, and communities of color. Currently serving as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Haaland will be ready on day one to protect our environment and fight for a clean energy future. If confirmed, she will make history as the first-ever Native American Cabinet secretary.
- Governor Jennifer Granholm is nominated to serve as Secretary of Energy. A two-term Governor of Michigan whose work during and after her tenure has centered on creating clean energy jobs in America, Granholm’s leadership was instrumental in rescuing the U.S. auto industry, saving one million jobs, and preparing Detroit for a clean energy future.
- Michael Regan is nominated to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The current Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Regan has served in the EPA under both Democratic and Republican presidents and has a distinguished track record of bringing people together across the public, private, and non-profit sectors to advance environmental justice and seek solutions to environmental and climate challenges.
- Brenda Mallory, an accomplished public servant and environmental lawyer, is nominated to serve as Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. A former General Counsel to the CEQ and current Director of Regulatory Policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center, Mallory brings deep and versatile expertise working directly with communities and partners across the public and private sectors to solve climate challenges and advance environmental protection and environmental justice. If confirmed, she would be the first African American to hold the position since its creation more than half a century ago.
- Administrator Gina McCarthy will serve as the first-ever National Climate Advisor, heading up the newly formed White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, where she will drive an “all of government” approach to combating climate change. A leading voice on climate and environmental issues for more than 30 years, McCarthy was a driving force behind the Obama-Biden Administration’s groundbreaking Clean Power Plan during her tenure as Administrator of the EPA.
- Ali Zaidi, a leading climate expert and longtime advisor to the president-elect, will serve as Deputy National Climate Advisor. Zaidi helped draft and implement the Obama-Biden Administration’s Climate Action Plan and negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement. Zaidi immigrated from Pakistan and grew up in the Rust Belt outside Erie, Pennsylvania.
Updated with Environment America’s statement at 3:02 p.m. ET on Dec. 17, and the Biden-Harris Transition Team’s statement on Dec. 18.