The details: EPA administrator during the Clinton administration, Browner also worked for Al Gore and reportedly helped write much of his book “Earth in the Balance.” Her tenure as EPA head was controversial, particularly after tightening National Ambient Air Quality Standards in 1997, the cost of which were found by the Office of Management and Budget to outweigh benefits of slight air quality gains.
» Who: Ken Salazar
What: Interior Department secretary
The details: Initially, the former Democratic senator was opposed by some environmentalists because of industry ties. However, since taking over the Interior Department, Salazar has moved aggressively to slow or stop entirely fossil fuel exploration and development on federal lands and offshore. He is also moving to designate up to 17 new national monuments throughout the West, effectively closing off huge swaths of land to all development.
» Who: Steven Chu
What: Secretary of Energy
The details: The Nobel Prize-winning physicist was widely lauded by environmentalists when he was tapped by the administration. Chu is a big proponent of cap-and-trade schemes to combat global warming, and has said of America’s No. 1 energy source: “Coal is my worst nightmare.”
Who: Nancy Sutley
What: Head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality
The details: Formerly a regional EPA administrator, Sutley was the deputy mayor for energy and environment in Los Angeles. There, she pushed the Department of Water and Power to rely on far more expensive wind and solar power sources. Earlier this year, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa threatened to shut down city government after the Department of Water and Power refused to reimburse the city for $73.5 million extra in costs for alternative energy sources.
The details: Jackson’s tenure at the EPA has been marked by controversy. The agency has sought authority to regulate carbon emissions, which would give unelected bureaucrats unprecedented economic controls. She drew heavy criticism for rejecting dispersants and other biotech methods for removing Gulf oil. The most recent criticism was for considering a petition to ban lead from ammunition.