clearn.png
Saturday June 19th, 2021 4:26AM

Biden picks deal-makers, fighters for climate, energy team

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden is picking deal-makers and fighters to lead a climate team he’ll ask to remake and clean up the nation’s transportation and power-plant systems, and as fast as politically possible.

While the president-elect's picks have the experience to do the heavy lifting required in a climate overhaul of the U.S. economy, they also seem to be reassuring skeptics that he won’t neglect the low-income, working class and minority communities hit hardest by fossil fuel pollution and climate change.

Progressives, energy lobbyists, environmental groups and auto workers on Wednesday welcomed Biden’s choice of popular former Mayor Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary. His expected picks of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm for energy secretary and former Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy as leader of domestic climate efforts also were met with general applause.

Biden is also tapping environmental lawyer and Obama administration official Brenda Mallory to run the Council on Environmental Quality, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday to discuss the yet-to-be announced appointment. The office oversees environmental reviews for virtually all major infrastructure projects and advises the president on major environmental issues. If confirmed, she would be the first African American to hold the position since its creation more than half a century ago.

Along with EPA nominee Michael Regan and Interior nominee Deb Haaland, Buttigieg, Granholm and McCarthy will be part of an effort to rapidly build and develop technology to retool the United States’ transportation and power grid systems from petroleum and coal to a greater reliance on solar, wind and other cleaner forms of energy.

“I’m over the moon right now," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Democrat at the forefront of a climate-focused, progressive movement within the party that's demanding more of a say in policymaking.

“The Biden climate appointments, they represent progress, real progress, so I’m really excited," Ocasio-Cortez said. She pointed especially to Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat who would become the first Native American Cabinet secretary.

Biden has pledged to make slowing the impact of climate change a top priority and has laid out an ambitious plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse emissions to net-zero by 2050. The plan includes an immediate return to the global 2015 Paris agreement on climate and a pledge to stop all climate-damaging emissions from U.S. power plants by 2035.

Among those on his climate team, Granholm as Michigan's governor helped nudge auto workers toward accepting a switch to production of more electric vehicles. That will be one of several big ticket clean-energy efforts she and others in the administration will be pushing under Biden’s promised $2 trillion climate plan, which will face obstacles from Republicans in Congress and battles over which priorities to implement first.

“She’s a good lady,” said retired United Auto Workers local president Pat Sweeney, who remembers Granholm for helping broker the Detroit auto bailout during the 2008-09 financial crisis. ”She'll do a good job."

Sweeney recalled Granholm personally telephoning him and other local union officials – more than once – to push for concessions needed to close the multibillion-dollar federal bailout to keep U.S. auto plants open. “She told us she was counting on us not to let her down, after she put her neck on the line for us,” Sweeney said.

Also helping drive Biden's plan will be McCarthy, who as EPA head under President Barack Obama pushed for landmark rules to cut planet-warming pollution. In her new position, which does not require Senate confirmation, McCarthy will oversee a broad interagency effort to address climate change across the federal government.

McCarthy would be the domestic counterpart to former Secretary of State John Kerry, who will serve as a special climate envoy.

McCarthy will be “an equal match to Kerry’s presence on the international side,'' said energy lobbyist Frank Maisano. ”You have two high-profile, serious people leading climate efforts.″

A spokesperson for the Sunrise Movement, which has pushed for the Green New Deal and other progressive policies, called McCarthy’s selection “very encouraging,″ because “she understands the urgent threat of the climate crisis.″

McCarthy is popular among Democrats, but has tangled repeatedly with Republicans, who accused the Obama administration of punishing U.S. businesses and stifling the economy when she led EPA.

“The real test” of Biden’s commitment will be “if the role has the teeth needed to be effective,″ said spokesperson Garrett Blad.

The climate effort laid out in Biden's plan would take a series of heavy lifts. His plan involves pouring billions of dollars into technological research to better store solar and wind power and clean up emissions from fossil fuel plants, build electric charging stations and other infrastructure around the country, and make every aspect of life more energy efficient.

Environmental groups are hailing Granholm’s selection, saying she will bring a focus on electric cars and renewable energy that is 180 degrees from the Trump administration’s emphasis on coal and other fossil fuels.

“The days of dirty fossil fuels and exorbitantly expensive nuclear reactors as the nation’s primary energy are in the rearview mirror,” said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based advocacy group.

___

Knickmeyer reported from Oklahoma City. Associated Press writers Tom Krisher in Detroit, Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, Calif., and Aamer Madhani in Wilmington, Del., contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
James, Davis back on court for Lakers as season draws near
LeBron James and Anthony Davis returned to the court for the Los Angeles Lakers, less than a week before the start of the regular season
10:37PM ( 47 minutes ago )
ATP: Start of 2021 calendar includes delayed Australian Open
The 2021 Australian Open is set to begin three weeks later than planned
10:34PM ( 50 minutes ago )
California judge extends strip-club exemption from lockdown
A California judge has extended an order exempting San Diego strip clubs from state pandemic-related restrictions, a setback for Gov. Gavin Newsom in his efforts to make his orders stick
10:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Close but not yet: Deal near on COVID-19 economic aid bill
Congressional leaders appear to be on the brink of a COVID-19 economic aid package
8:31PM ( 2 hours ago )
Health officials track safety as COVID-19 vaccines roll out
As COVID-19 vaccinations roll out, health authorities are keeping close watch for any unexpected side effects
7:49PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: CT bans semitrailers on some roads for 12 hours
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has announced he is banning tractor trailer and tandem trailers from all limited access highways, beginning at 9 p.m. Wednesday due to the severe winter snow storm
7:45PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Negotiators near agreement on COVID-19 economic aid bill
Top congressional leaders appear to be on the brink of a long-delayed COVID-19 aid package
4:51PM ( 6 hours ago )
Biden hails transportation nominee Buttigieg as 'new voice'
President-elect Joe Biden has introduced onetime Democratic primary rival Pete Buttigieg as his nominee for transportation secretary
4:12PM ( 7 hours ago )
Negotiators near agreement on long-delayed COVID-19 aid bill
Top congressional leaders appear to be on the brink of a long-delayed COVID-19 aid package
3:58PM ( 7 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
US plans new charges in 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing
The Justice Department expects to unseal charges in the coming days in connection with the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet that exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people
9:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Biden tells governors that he'll work with them
President-elect Joe Biden has told governors from more than 30 states that the federal government needs to “get its act together” amid a surge in coronavirus infections and deaths
4:52PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Asia Today: S. Korea marks deadliest day, over 1,000 cases
South Korea has added more than 1,000 infections to its coronavirus caseload for the second straight day amid growing fears that the virus is spreading out of control in the greater capital area
8:47PM ( 2 hours ago )
Facebook criticizes Apple privacy policy in newspaper ads
Facebook is again pushing back on new Apple privacy rules for its mobile devices
7:52PM ( 3 hours ago )
MLB tells managers to expect on-time spring training start
Big league managers say Major League Baseball instructed them to prepare for spring training to start on time in mid-February despite uncertainty around the coronavirus
7:39PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Wall Street wobbles near records following Fed meeting
Stocks are drifting near record levels on Wall Street Wednesday after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep buying bonds until the economy makes substantial progress from its virus-wracked state
3:27PM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: US health officials OK another rapid virus test
U.S. health officials have given the OK to another rapid coronavirus test that people can use to screen themselves at home
2:51PM ( 8 hours ago )
High court agrees to hear NCAA athlete compensation case
For the first time in more than three decades, the Supreme Court will hear a case involving the NCAA and what it means to be a college athlete
12:26PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
S&P 500 nears record following stimulus progress, Fed moves
The S&P 500 ticked up to the edge of its record Wednesday after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep buying bonds until the economy makes substantial progress from its virus-wracked state
4:47PM ( 6 hours ago )
Wall Street ends wobbly day near records after Fed meeting
Stocks ended a wobbly day with mixed results Wednesday after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep buying bonds until the economy makes substantial progress from its virus-wracked state
4:13PM ( 7 hours ago )
Robinhood accused of downplaying the risks of trading
Regulators in Massachusetts claim Robinhood Financial targets and manipulates inexperienced investors and has failed to prevent costly outages on its popular stock trading platform
3:02PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
World stocks advance after stimulus talks lift Wall St
Shares have risen in Europe and Asia after revived hopes for more aid for the U.S. economy broke a four-day losing streak on Wall Street
4:06AM ( 19 hours ago )
The Latest: Deaths rising in Pakistan with Karachi hard hit
The number of daily COVID-19 deaths in Pakistan has crossed 100 for the first time in five months with the virus spreading fast in the financial capital of Karachi
2:04AM ( 21 hours ago )
Asian stocks advance after stimulus talks lift Wall St
Shares have risen in Asia after revived hopes for more aid for the U.S. economy broke a four-day losing streak on Wall Street
1:53AM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
US industrial production up 0.4% in November with auto boost
U.S. industrial production increased 0.4% in November with manufacturing receiving a boost from a rebound in output at auto plants after three months of declines
10:22AM ( 1 day ago )
Stocks start higher on Wall Street as vaccinations roll out
Wall Street is getting off to a solid start as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to roll out in the U.S. and as a second vaccine candidate moved closer to winning approval from regulators
9:41AM ( 1 day ago )
Volkswagen board issues vote of confidence in CEO Diess
Volkswagen's board has given CEO Herbert Diess a vote of confidence for his efforts to push the giant auto company into the new fields of digital services and electric cars
3:30PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Utilities
James, Davis back on court for Lakers as season draws near
LeBron James and Anthony Davis returned to the court for the Los Angeles Lakers, less than a week before the start of the regular season
10:37PM ( 53 minutes ago )
ATP: Start of 2021 calendar includes delayed Australian Open
The 2021 Australian Open is set to begin three weeks later than planned
10:34PM ( 56 minutes ago )
California judge extends strip-club exemption from lockdown
A California judge has extended an order exempting San Diego strip clubs from state pandemic-related restrictions, a setback for Gov. Gavin Newsom in his efforts to make his orders stick
10:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
Villanova coach Wright gets 600th win in victory over Butler
Collin Gillespie and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl each scored 18 points for No. 7 Villanova, and coach Jay Wright won his 600th career game in an 85-66 victory over Butler on Wednesday night
10:11PM ( 1 hour ago )
Omar Vizquel denies wife's allegations of domestic abuse
Longtime major league shortstop Omar Vizquel is denying accusations of domestic abuse made by his wife after she described two alleged acts of physical violence by the 11-time Gold Glove winner in a story published by The Athletic
10:03PM ( 1 hour ago )