Muckraker: Grist on Politics

Several big environmental groups have issued statements praising Barack Obama’s nomination of Bill Richardson today to serve as secretary of commerce. The pick, they said, will help spur green business.

National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Larry Schweiger:

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If there’s anyone who understands that a green shovel can help dig us out of our economic crisis, it’s Bill Richardson. He knows that clean energy and climate action can create jobs and repower America’s economy while protecting our natural resources.

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League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski:

As Secretary of Commerce, Governor Richardson will continue to be a powerful advocate for clean energy. He recognizes both the economic threat of global warming and the economic potential of renewable energy. His long experience with these issues will help America’s businesses rebuild our economy with clean energy and create international solutions to the international challenge of global warming.

LCV also dug up Richardson’s answers to the questionnaire it gave to all of the presidential candidates last year. Keeping in mind that the Department of Commerce encompasses the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, here’s what Richardson had to say about oceans:

The oceans are critical. We need an ocean protection program — including not drilling in the ecologically critical [outer continental shelf] — that will also allow us to lead other nations by example. I know that fishing and transportation interests will have to agree in their own long-term interest, but moving them will require presidential leadership to implement needed ocean policy reforms.

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And here’s what he had to say about international policy:

Everything we do at home should be leveraged into international policy. [As president,] I will immediately go back to the international negotiating table. I will restore bilateral partnerships with other nations that want to implement new technologies and efficiencies and control greenhouse gas emissions. I will get the North American Energy Council going not only to push for regional carbon trading but also to bring renewables and efficiency to market. I will implement a new, coordinated, international energy and climate policy, and America will return to international leadership on these issues.