Carol Singer Nuevelt
With President-Elect Barack Obama’s move to Washington, DC this week (in fact, his hotel is just around the corner from the NAEM office) and his top Environment, Energy & Sustainability appointments made, I’d like to get your feedback about his designated Advisors and hear your predictions for the coming year.
I’m curious to hear what the EHS community thinks of President-Elect Obama’s picks, summarized here in this December 11th article in the Washington Post. While I’ve seen a range of comments in the media and blogosphere on his choices, for the most part there has not been much in the way of criticism.
The Green Business Blog, on the All Business website, says that the Sierra Club is “is pleased with President-elect Obama’s choices for his administration’s energy and environmental positions.” And in a pre-holiday post on the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) blog – The Switchboard – NRDC President, Frances Beinecke commends President-Elect Obama’s choices and asserts that he means business when it comes to climate change legislation and renewable energy. According to Ms. Beinecke, “Obama is launching us in a bold new direction. His team is the proof.”
Meanwhile, some are hoping the choices will mean a return to science and a move away from politics. The Huffington Post on-line commends the selection of Harvard’s John Holdren as the Chief Science Advisor to bolster the administration’s science-based approach on policy. Holdren is considered a leading expert on global climate science and is well versed in clean technologies.
Yet, Obama is going “back to the future” with many of his appointments including tapping the former EPA Administrator Carol Browner to be the newly created Energy and Climate Czar. So, this “bold new direction” doesn’t necessarily require that new people with new ideas will be responsible for getting us there.
And as with any new Administration, we wonder (and hope): Will this team have the knowledge & understanding and desire to work successfully in partnership with the private sector?
I am optimistic but am also hungry to hear some dissent!
On a related matter, I’ve got to give credit to the communications team of the incoming Administration. The President-Elect is “hitting the air-waves” to get his new agenda circulating. Check out this Obama YouTube video on Climate Change!