Biden Introduces Climate Team, Calls Climate Change An ‘Existential Threat’

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Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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President-elect Joe Biden introduced key members of his climate team in an announcement Thursday, saying their top priority would be to address climate change immediately by creating clean energy jobs and addressing environmental injustices.

“This brilliant, tested, trailblazing team will be ready on day one to confront the existential threat of climate change with a unified national response rooted in science and equity,” Biden said in a statement. “They share my belief that we have no time to waste to confront the climate crisis, protect our air and drinking water, and deliver justice to communities that have long shouldered the burdens of environmental harms.”

Democratic New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland was nominated to be secretary of the Department of the Interior. If confirmed, she would be the first Native American Cabinet secretary, and would oversee most of the country’s natural resources and around 20% of land in the U.S.

Former Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm was nominated to be secretary of the Department of Energy. A two-term governor, she oversaw the auto industry’s recovery following the 2008 recession and implemented a number of clean energy initiatives in Michigan.

Michael Regan, the secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, was nominated to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He would be the first black man to run the EPA if confirmed and would play a central role in implementing Biden’s climate plan, according to The Washington Post. (RELATED: Climate Experts Sound The Alarm On Biden’s $2 Trillion Climate Plan)

Southern Environmental Law Center lawyer Brenda Mallory was nominated to chair the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which coordinates federal environmental policies across the executive branch. She would be the first black person to to hold the position if confirmed and was formerly a General Counsel to the CEQ, according to NPR.

Former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy was nominated to lead the newly formed White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy as Biden’s National Climate Adviser. She was a driving force behind the Obama administration’s major climate initiatives like the Clean Power Plan.

Longtime Biden adviser Ali Zaidi was nominated to be the president-elect’s Deputy National Climate Advisor. Zaidi also served in the Obama administration and helped implement Obama-era climate initiatives, according to The Washington Post.