President-elect Barack Obama has signaled that energy and climate policy will be elevated to top priorities in his administration. As expected, the President-elect has asked Nobel-prize winner Steven Chu to run his Energy Department. Chu is presently director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe issued a statement praising the selection saying Obama had chosen a competent, qualified individual to serve in this important capacity that can constructively address the nation's energy needs and optimize biodiesel's potential.
The President-elect also appointed Lisa Jackson to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Jackson is presently New Jersey's environmental chief.
"I have no doubt that that Lisa Jackson will provide skilled, capable leadership at the EPA," Jobe said. "Our industry is proud of the fact that we displace petroleum with a clean-burning, environmentally-friendly fuel, and I look forward to working with Administrator-designate Jackson to achieve our shared goals of protecting the environment and promoting clean, renewable fuels as an alternative to fossil fuels."
Nancy Sutley, an energy and environment aide to the mayor of Los Angeles and a former adviser at EPA, was named head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Carol Browner was chosen to act as coordinator in a newly created White House position overseeing climate and energy. Browner, headed the Environmental Protection Agency for eight years during the Clinton administration.
Obama's key goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, requiring that a quarter of the nation's electricity be produced from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2025 and investing $150 billion over the next decade to promote low-carbon energy projects.