President-elect Biden introduces appointees for new climate, energy team

Biden announces former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as head of Department of Energy

President-elect Joe Biden speaks as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris listens at left, during an event to introduce their nominees and appointees to economic policy posts at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris introduced the individuals nominated and appointed to their climate and energy team at an event on Saturday, Dec. 19.

The live stream for this event has ended.

UPDATE: President-elect Biden officially nominates former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm for energy secretary

UPDATE: Biden introduces his climate team, says ‘no time to waste’

On Tuesday, a report from CNN indicated that Biden would nominate former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to lead the U.S. Department of Energy.

President-elect Biden announced additional appointees for energy and climate positions on Saturday, including:

  • Congresswoman Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior
  • Michael Regan for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Brenda Mallory for Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality

Biden’s selection of New Mexico Rep. Haaland is particularly historic, as she is now the first Native American to lead the powerful federal agency that has wielded influence over the nation’s tribes for generations.

Deal-makers and fighters make up Biden’s new climate team (AP)

Joe Biden wrapped up a team heavy on deal-makers and fighters to lead his climate effort Thursday, tasking it with remaking and cleaning up the nation’s transportation and power-plant systems, and as fast as politically possible.

While President-elect Biden’s picks have the experience to do the heavy lifting required in a climate overhaul of the U.S. economy, they also seem to be reassuring skeptics that he won’t neglect the low-income, working class and minority communities hit hardest by fossil fuel pollution and climate change.

Progressives, energy lobbyists, environmental groups and auto workers welcomed Biden’s choice of popular former Mayor Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary. His picks of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm for energy secretary and former Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy as leader of domestic climate efforts also were met with general applause.

Biden is also tapping environmental lawyer and Obama administration official Brenda Mallory to run the Council on Environmental Quality, the president-elect announced Thursday. The office oversees environmental reviews for virtually all major infrastructure projects and advises the president on major environmental issues. If confirmed, she would be the first African American to hold the position since its creation more than half a century ago.

Along with EPA nominee Michael Regan and Interior nominee Deb Haaland, Buttigieg, Granholm and McCarthy will be part of an effort to rapidly build and develop technology to retool the United States’ transportation and power grid systems from petroleum and coal to a greater reliance on solar, wind and other cleaner forms of energy.

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.