The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is giving President-Elect Barack Obama high marks for his environment-oriented appointments:

  • Carol Browner, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator during the Clinton years, to lead a new council on climate, environment and energy issues
  • Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu as energy secretary
  • Lisa Jackson, former commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, as EPA administrator
  • Nancy Sutley, Los Angeles’ deputy mayor for energy and environment, as head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) as Secretary of the Interior
  • Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture

“President-Elect Obama has demonstrated with this team his commitment to change the course of America’s energy policy, underscored by the appointment of Carol Browner to head a new council coordinating White House policy on energy, climate and environment,” says Larry Schweiger, NWF president and CEO. “Having served with her on the board of the Alliance for Climate Protection, I can tell you Carol Browner is an outstanding choice who can make up for 8 years of lost opportunity by lending her proven leadership to usher in a new era of climate and energy initiatives.

“Especially in light of New Jersey’s leadership on strong targets for carbon emission cuts, Lisa Jackson is exactly what this country and its precious environment needs in an EPA administrator: a practical, smart and dedicated individual who has a track record of moving sound environmental and conservation policies forward that benefit us all. We applaud the new administration’s commitment to restoring protections for America’s wetlands, streams and floodplains. This will be of particular importance as global warming continues to impact the resiliency of the natural resources a strong economy depends on.

“Steven Chu’s selection as energy secretary shows the White House will no longer be a battleground in the war on science. Instead, a Nobel laureate who’s been a strong and powerful voice on the urgent need to confront global warming will lead our national energy policy. And if there’s anyone who knows climate change must be dealt with on every level—by nations, states and localities—it’s Nancy Sutley, who’s handled environmental issues from each of those perspectives.

“Sen. Ken Salazar has been a champion for America’s public lands. He’s fought to protect Western lands from costly, destructive oil shale production. He also took on the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management over oil and gas leasing on the Roan Plateau in northwest Colorado. And as a former water rights and mining lawyer and former director of Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources, Sen. Salazar brings an experienced perspective to needed mining reform.

“Gov. Tom Vilsack has supported working to improve the environmental performance of U.S. agriculture. We look forward to working with him to move our country forward to the next generation of clean, sustainable, biomass energy and improved farming practices that can store carbon and restore the fertility of our soils.

“President-Elect Obama has once again shown he understands clean energy and climate must be addressed at every level of government from a wide range of policy perspectives. With this team in place, President-Elect Obama has strong allies in his fight to enact a cap-and-invest plan that reduces global warming pollution and grows clean energy technologies that will recharge our economy and protect our natural resources for future generations.”