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

Canada Invokes 1977 Treaty in Ongoing Line 5 Battle

Canada Invokes 1977 Treaty in Ongoing Line 5 Battle

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor The battle over Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline is heating up as mediation between the Canadian-based company and the Michigan government breaks down. Now, Canada is invoking Article Six of the 1977 Transit Pipelines Treaty, which guarantees uninterrupted flow of light crude oil between the US and Canada, to keep […]

Continue Reading 527 words
What the German Election Results Mean for Climate Change

What the German Election Results Mean for Climate Change

by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer In the German campaign to elect Chancellor Angel Merkel’s successor, the Green Party led in the polls earlier this spring. Their candidate Annalena Baerbock looked like she could become the party’s first chancellor. Although the Greens didn’t win in Sunday’s election, they received just shy of 15% of the […]

Continue Reading 385 words

Third Way and EDF Talk Policy & Innovation at Climate Week NYC

Last week was Climate Week NYC, and Third Way and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) came together to host speakers from across the country in a conversation on how thoughtful public policy can be a catalyst to empower climate innovation. The event, Meeting the Moment, featured speakers including: Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin Mandela Barnes; Board […]

Continue Reading 192 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.