Muckraker: Grist on Politics

The Obama team has tapped a former high-level Clinton appointee to run the transition efforts for EPA, Interior, Energy, and Agriculture, Greenwire reports. The person picked for the job is David Hayes, who served as deputy secretary at Interior during the Clinton years.

Reporting to Hayes will be Robert Sussman, who served as deputy administrator of the EPA under Clinton and is currently a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Sussman and Lisa Jackson, commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, are heading what’s probably going to be a 10-12 person team focused on EPA.

A number of other former Clinton officials are also reported to be working on transition efforts for environmental and energy agencies. Included on that list:

  • David Sandalow, former assistant secretary of state for oceans, environment and science.
  • John Leshy, former solicitor at Interior.
  • Frank E. Loy, former under secretary of state for global affairs.
  • Donald J. Barry, former assistant secretary of fish, wildlife and parks at Interior.

In a conference call with the media today, transition co-chair John Podesta said that the Obama transition team expects all the agency review teams to be in place by Nov. 18. In all, the transition is expected to by staffed by 450 people and cost $12 million.

Podesta also released the transition team’s ethics policy, calling it the “strictest ethics rules ever applied” to a transition. Federally registered lobbyists must un-register if they are to work on the transition team, and former lobbyists can’t work on policy teams that relate to the areas on which they lobbied for a year after they de-register. Transition staff also can’t lobby the administration for a year after leaving the team, and federal lobbyists cannot contribute financially to the transition.

Podesta seemed to indicate that it’s unlikely any major appointments will be announced before Thanksgiving.