President Obama’s Energy and Environment Team – A New Day in Washington

capital_mall_dawn.jpgAs of noon Eastern time today, it is no longer “president-elect” but indeed President Barack Obama.

I have the privilege today of witnessing the historic swearing-in of our 44th president. I thought it might be fitting to review the people the new president has assembled to head up his energy and environment team:

  • EPA Administrator: Lisa Jackson
    Jackson spent 16 years at the Environmental Protection Agency and is the former commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, a job in which she has drawn some criticism.

  • Energy Secretary: Steven Chu
    Chu steps into the role of energy secretary from his position as head of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a research arm of the U.S. Department of Energy focused on renewable and alternative sources of energy. Chu’s work as a physicist won him and his colleagues the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize in Physics for developing methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.

  • Energy Czar: Carol Browner
    Browner’s official job title is Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. Browner served as EPA Administrator in the Clinton administration, being the longest serving administrator to hold the post. Browner has also served on the board for the Audubon Society, the League of Conservation Voters, the Center for American Progress, and on former vice-president Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection.

  • Council on Environmental Quality: Nancy Sutley
    Nancy Sutley is tapped to lead the Council on Environmental Quality. She heads to Washington from Los Angeles where she has served as Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment. Sutley has sat on the board of the California State Water Resources Board, served former California Gray Davis as an energy advisor, and was a senior policy advisor to the regional administrator of the EPA during the Clinton administration.

Sources and further reading:
Nancy Sutley – New York Times
Lisa Jackson – Huffington Post, ABC News
Carol Browner – The Washington Times
Steven Chu – Chicago Times – The Swamp
Red, Green, and Blue

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Get in Touch

  1. The high cost of fuel this past year did serious damage to our economy and society.The ripple effects will be felt for years to come. Thank God we are about to have a president that sees the need for America to become energy independent. After enjoying a few short months of lower prices at the pumps OPEC’s promised cuts are showing in gas prices as they slowly but steadily creep back up. We have so much available to us in the way of free energy sources such as wind and solar as well as many advanced technologies such as hybrid cars and biofuels. There is no one single answer. It will take a collaborative effort on our part to put all these pieces together and make energy independence a reality in our nation. What we seem to lack is a plan. I just read book by Jeff Wilson called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now. I hope our president elect has heard of this book and read it as well. WE can create cheap CLEAN energy. Create millions of badly needed new green jobs, and get out from under our dependence on foreign oil all at the same time with becoming energy independent.

  2. The change in administration is nothing short of transformational, yet the key to success lies with the will of the people. Thankfully there is such a high level of pent up demand for change that the initial momentum should take us far.

    Here’s hoping that the Obama team will tap into the energy and dedication of the general population, both here at home and in countries around the globe.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles

Stay in touch

To be updated with the latest climate and environmental news and commentary. Learning to live in the Anthropocene.


Latest Posts