Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Biden Considers Obama-Era EPA Chief, Others for Key Climate Positions

Biden Considers Obama-Era EPA Chief, Others for Key Climate Positions
Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator in the Obama administration, speaks during the Climate Action 2016 Summit on May 6, 2016 in Washington, DC, two weeks after the signing ceremony of the Paris agreement. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is currently considering the former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under former President Barack Obama to be the domestic "climate czar," Reuters reported.

The appointment of Gina McCarthy would put her in charge of federal policy on climate across agencies. Biden has made the climate crisis a main focus for his upcoming administration, tapping former Obama secretary of state John Kerry to be its special presidential envoy on climate, as a cabinet-level official who will sit on the National Security Council.

McCarthy currently serves as the president of the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, an environmental advocacy organization with broad reach. She would be Kerry's counterpart, where she would run domestic policy, with Kerry in charge of international diplomacy with regard to climate.

In an interview with NPR in November, McCarthy said Biden's climate strategy consisted of re-entering the Paris agreement immediately, and moving to clean energy by 2035. She mentioned how under President Trump the administration was stacked with fossil fuel executives, which stalled policy on clean energy to move forward. It also stalled on the job front, as clean energy jobs are more likely to produce more employment through creating infrastructure.

She said in the interview that if people who may be skeptical about climate change, or rely on the fossil fuel industry for employment understood the potential of the job market in renewable energy — and the jobs would be more secure — then it could be massive step forward in combating climate change in the U.S.

And Michael Regan, the current secretary of North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality, is a top contender to head the upcoming administration's EPA office, according to Bloomberg News. One of his largest achievements while in office was in January, where he held Duke Energy Corp accountable for its pollution production, forcing the company to agree to the largest coal cleanup in the U.S.

Valley of the Gods in the heart of Bears Ears National Monument. Mint Images / Getty Images

By Sharon Buccino

This week, Secretary Haaland chose a visit to Bears Ears National Monument as her first trip as Interior Secretary. She is spending three days in Bluff, Utah, a small town just outside the monument, listening to representatives of the five tribes who first proposed its designation to President Obama in 2015. This is the same town where former Secretary Sally Jewell spent several hours at a public hearing in July 2016 before recommending the monument's designation to President Obama.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Anthony Richardson, Chhaya Chaudhary, David Schoeman, and Mark John Costello

The tropical water at the equator is renowned for having the richest diversity of marine life on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs and large aggregations of tunas, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The number of marine species naturally tapers off as you head towards the poles.

Read More Show Less
"Secrets of the Whales" is a new series that will start streaming on Disney+ on Earth Day. Disney+

In celebration of Earth Day, a star-studded cast is giving fans a rare glimpse into the secret lives of some of the planet's most majestic animals: whales. In "Secrets of the Whales," a four-part documentary series by renowned National Geographic Photographer and Explorer Brian Skerry and Executive Producer James Cameron, viewers plunge deep into the lives and worlds of five different whale species.

Read More Show Less
Spring is an excellent time to begin bird watching in earnest. Eugenio Marongiu / Cultura / Getty Images

The coronavirus has isolated many of us in our homes this year. We've been forced to slow down a little, maybe looking out our windows, becoming more in tune with the rhythms of our yards. Perhaps we've begun to notice more, like the birds hopping around in the bushes out back, wondering (maybe for the first time) what they are.

Read More Show Less
The brown pelican is seen on Queen Bess Island in Louisiana in March 2021. Casey Wright / LDWF biologist

Who says you can't go home again?

Read More Show Less