Coming soon are President-Elect Obama’s picks to head up crucial energy and environment posts. The Environmental Protection Agency will undergo a rousing revival after years of being quashed by the Bush Administration. And the Energy Secretary will be a major player in the Democrats ambitious ‘green’ agenda. According to the Washington buzz, the initial front-runner for Administrator of EPA, current California Air Resources Board (CARB) chairman Mary Nichols (a former EPA assistant administrator and Yale Law School grad) took a hit when Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) deposed Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) as chairman of the key House Energy and Commerce Committee. Why? With Waxman heading up climate policy in the House and Senate Environment Committee chair Barbara Boxer, another Californian, doing the same in the Senate, environmental policy would be too Californian with Nichols at the helm. And with Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius taking herself out of the running for any Obama Administration job, the focus has shifted to Lisa Jackson, until recently the head of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection.
The rumor mill is less sure about the possible pick for Energy Secretary. But the names include Dan Reicher of Google (a former Energy Dept official and cleantech venture capitalist) and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm