Biden’s Climate Dream Team Announced

Yesterday President-elect Joe Biden announced key nominations and appointments of his climate team:

  • Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior
  • Governor Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy
  • Michael Regan, EPA Administrator
  • Brenda Mallory, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality
  • Administrator Gina McCarthy, National Climate Advisor
  • Ali Zaidi, Deputy National Climate Advisor

A team that AP described as “dealmakers and fighters.”

Why This Matters: While environmental groups applauded these announcements, the appointment of Rep. Deb Haaland would make her the first Indigenous cabinet secretary and sends a strong signal that the incoming Biden administration is committed to environmental justice (and hopefully reaching a 30 by 30 goal considering Haaland’s commitment to the goal). Haaland at Interior would mean that for the first time, an Indigenous person would head the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Additionally, Michael Regan will be the first black man to lead the EPA, and as the Huff Post explained: unlike past administrators, he’ll serve alongside a Cabinet tasked with making climate change a priority across agencies.

The Reactions: 

As the Director of Campaign for Nature, Brian O’Donnell said:

“Representative Deb Haaland is an outstanding pick to lead the Department of the Interior.  She has been a leader in the Congress in protecting lands and wildlife and advancing equity and social justice….Her nomination won’t right the wrongs of the past, but it is a step forward that is long overdue.” The Campaign for Nature also noted Haaland’s commitment to conserving 30% of the world’s lands and oceans in a manner that respects and advances Indigenous rights

Campaign for Nature is grateful that Rep. Haaland served on our Global Steering Committee that advocated for setting a global goal protecting and . We look forward to working with her in her new role and offer our heartfelt congratulations.”

Mitch Bernard, NRDC executive director:

“This is a first-rate team that will hit the ground running, taking action to confront the climate crisis, bolster protections for public health and safeguard our natural resources and wildlife. They will stand up for environmental justice and protect communities suffering disproportionately from dirty air, polluted waters and fossil fuel hazard and harm. We look forward to working with these seasoned professionals, and the entire Biden team, to create a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous future for everyone.”

Also worth noting is that Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) who was also a leading contender for Secretary of the Interior issued a very gracious congratulations to “[his] friend Deb Haaland on this momentous and well-earned nomination.”

Up Next

Congressional Democrats & Biden Administration Move Towards Passing Largest Climate Investment in US History

Congressional Democrats & Biden Administration Move Towards Passing Largest Climate Investment in US History

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Late last week, President Biden and a critical mass of Democrats in the Senate and House agreed on the details of Build Back Better legislation — a $1.85 trillion overall investment that includes a record-setting  $555 billion dollars to take on the climate crisis.    The agreement marked a […]

Continue Reading 502 words
Big Oil Testifies in Congress about Decades of Disinformation

Big Oil Testifies in Congress about Decades of Disinformation

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Top executives from Big Oil companies ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, and Shell testified before Congress yesterday amid accusations and revelations about their industry’s efforts to mislead the public about human-caused climate change while claiming to be in favor of climate action. A report released Thursday morning by the House Committee […]

Continue Reading 542 words
UN Says Climate Pledges Are Too Weak to Stop Warming

UN Says Climate Pledges Are Too Weak to Stop Warming

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer As the world gets ready for COP26 in Glasgow next week, many nations are upping their pledges to lower emissions before 2030. But according to a UN report released Tuesday, even if Argentina, Britain, Canada, the EU, South Africa, and the US achieve their pledged goals, it would account […]

Continue Reading 326 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.