Who would a President-Elect Hillary Clinton have picked to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the next four years?
“Likely an African American,” according to a list compiled by Mike Allen at Axios. No name, just that description.
EPA Administrator and Education Secretary are the only top administration posts on Allen’s list without a specific name attached. Former Obama climate czar Carol Browner, for example, was going to be Energy Secretary, and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta would have been Hillary’s secretary of state or climate czar.
“While Trump had to scramble to build a government starting Nov. 9, Clinton had a team in waiting,” Allen, formerly of Politico, wrote in an email for his new media venture. Allen compiled a list of Clinton administration appointees based on “interviews with numerous Clinton insiders.”
“By Election Day, her roster was so refined that most jobs just had one name,” Allen wrote, adding that the actual President-Elect Donald Trump had to hit the ground running to fill key administration position.
Clinton’s plan to put a black person at the helm of EPA comes after years of environmentalists and Democrats fretting about minority engagement on issues, like global warming.
Obama appointed Lisa Jackson to head EPA during his first term. She was confirmed in 2009 and became the first black woman to head the agency. Jackson left EPA in 2013 after it was found she used a secret email account to communicate with staff and outside activists.
Clinton likely wanted to mimic Obama’s approach to get more minority groups involved in environmental activism, especially in light of events in Flint, Mich. — where lax regulatory oversight allowed lead to leach into the city’s water supply.
Clinton visited Flint on the campaign trail to build support before the Michigan Democratic primary.
Trump nominated Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head EPA. Pruitt is expected to have a confirmation hearing in the coming weeks.
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