President Obama’s “green team” is nearly complete, as the Senate on Thursday confirmed Lisa Jackson to run the Environmental Protection Agency and Nancy Sutley to head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Senators also approved Ray LaHood as Secretary of Transportation. All three officials were confirmed by voice vote.
Jackson’s appointment had been in limbo, as reports suggested that a Republican senator, John Barrasso of Wyoming, was blocking it until he received some clarity about Carol Browner‘s role as Obama’s top adviser on climate and energy issues. Barrasso later consented to allowing the confirmation to proceed after talking to Browner, according to a spokesperson for the Environment and Public Works Committee, which was managing the confirmation. (Barrasso told TPM the same thing).
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate panel, issued a statement immediately after the confirmation praising her colleagues for approving Sutley and Jackson. “I am really pleased that the Senate has taken the first steps toward restoring the EPA and CEQ to their proper role as organizations that fight to protect the health of our families and the safety of our air, our water and our planet,” said Boxer. “Lisa Jackson and Nancy Sutley are well qualified to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and the Council on Environmental Quality, and they respect and understand that their organizations’ mission is to protect public health and the environment.”
The Senate has not yet acted on Obama’s nomination of Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) to run the Department of Labor. Solis has said she will use her post to champion the creation of “green jobs.”