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.”

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