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March 22, 2021 by Maggie Dewane

Haaland, Granholm, and Other Women Make History in Presidential Cabinet

Kamala Harris. Janet Yellen. Deb Haaland. Gina Raimondo. Marcia Fudge. Jennifer Granholm. 

They’re making history as members of the largest group of women ever to serve on a presidential Cabinet. Haaland and Yellen are the first women in their positions, and Haaland is also the first Native American Cabinet secretary.

President Biden has appointed five additional women to Cabinet-level positions, including Cecilia Rouse as chair of the Council of Economic Advisors and Isabel Guzman as Small Business Administrator. Four of these five are Black, Asian American, or Latina. In total, women comprise nearly half of Biden’s Cabinet.

Women have been fighting for equality in this country for over a century — from the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, to the Women’s Strike of 1970, to the Women’s March in 2017. For women who are Black American, Asian American, or Native American, the fight has been even harder. 

Today, the women of President Biden’s Cabinet stand on the shoulders of these moments and the trailblazing women who have come before, including Patricia Roberts Harris, the first Black woman to hold a position as Cabinet secretary (1977); Elaine Chao, the first Asian American woman to earn the distinction …

Jan. 22, 2021 by Joseph Tomain
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President Joe Biden named Commissioner Richard Glick as Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) January 21. Glick succeeds Chairman James Danly. The Commission is expected to retain its Republican majority until Commissioner Neil Chatterjee's term is up on June 30.

Glick previously served as a FERC Commissioner nominated by President Trump in August 2017 and confirmed by the Senate later that year.

Before joining FERC, Glick was general counsel for the Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, serving as a senior policy advisor on numerous issues, including electricity and renewable energy. Prior to that, he was vice president of government affairs for Iberdrola, a Spanish multinational electric utility. At Iberdrola, Glick focused on the company’s renewable energy, electric and gas utility, and natural gas storage businesses in the United States. He ran the company’s Washington, DC, office and was responsible …

Jan. 21, 2021 by Katie Tracy
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Editor's update: On April 9, 2021, President Biden nominated Doug Parker to lead OSHA. If confirmed, he'll replace Jim Frederick as Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health in the Department of Labor.

President Joe Biden has tapped three seasoned experts to jumpstart the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal government's main worker health and safety agency. Jim Frederick will serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSHA and will head the agency until a permanent Assistant Secretary is confirmed. Frederick’s experience includes over two decades working for the United Steel Workers' health, safety, and environment department. In his latest role, Frederick served as the assistant director and principal investigator for the department. Biden has also named Chip Hughes, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Worker Education and Training Program, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Pandemic and Emergency Response. This will …

Dec. 18, 2020 by Victor Flatt, Joel Mintz
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Update: On March 10, 2021, the Senate voted to confirm Michael Regan as EPA Administrator.

President-elect Joe Biden is set to name Michael Regan to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Regan is currently the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, and his past experience includes earlier stints at EPA and the Environmental Defense Fund. He would be the first Black man to serve as EPA administrator.

Donald Trump and the industry allies he appointed to head this critical agency — Scott Pruitt and Andrew Wheeler — harmed it through a series of air, water, pesticide, and chemical safety rollbacks. Pruitt and Wheeler also imposed damaging procedural rules on the agency that, if left in place, will make it next to impossible to use the best science to craft environmental protections — or to justify them in the first place. Adding insult to injury, the …

Dec. 17, 2020 by Robert Verchick
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UPDATE: The Senate confirmed Brenda Mallory as Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality on April 14, 2021.

President-elect Joe Biden is set to name Brenda Mallory to lead the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the White House office that coordinates environmental policy across federal agencies. Mallory has more than three decades of environmental law and policy experience, served as CEQ general counsel under President Barack Obama, and is currently director of regulatory policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Though somewhat dormant during Donald Trump's early tenure, CEQ ramped up its attacks on environmental policies and protections during the second half of Trump’s term.

It focused its assault on how agencies review the environmental impacts of their actions. Congress required such environmental review beginning in 1970 with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Whenever an agency funds or issues a permit for a big project …

Dec. 17, 2020 by Robert Glicksman
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Update: On March 15, 2021, the Senate voted to confirm Deb Haaland as Secretary of Interior.

President-elect Joe Biden tapped Deb Haaland to head up the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees our nation's public lands, wildlife conservation, and key aspects of energy development. Currently a House representative from New Mexico, Haaland has led the national parks, forests, and public lands subcommittee on the House Natural Resources Committee. She would be the first Native American to lead the department.

If confirmed, Haaland will oversee an agency the Trump administration systematically worked to dismantle. Secretaries Ryan Zinke and David Bernhardt did everything in their power to make the department as industry friendly as possible — shrinking national monuments, gutting endangered species protections, throwing open the doors to fossil fuel extraction, and more.

Though Haaland will face significant challenges, she can begin to reverse harmful policies and ensure …

Dec. 17, 2020 by Hannah Wiseman
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Update: On February 25, 2021, the Senate confirmed Jennifer Granholm as Secretary of Energy.

President-elect Joe Biden is poised to name Jennifer Granholm to lead the U.S. Department of Energy, which oversees key energy efficiency standards, research, and development. Granholm is a former two-term governor of Michigan and a champion of using a clean energy transition to spur economic growth.

During the Trump years, the department repeatedly tried to defund important clean energy research programs. The department also weakened energy efficiency standards for appliances, light bulbs, and other consumer products. These actions damaged our country’s ability to reduce carbon pollution, combat climate change, and help those most burdened by high energy bills.

The Biden administration and Granholm must make energy justice a focus of their policy agenda. Here are five top priorities they can start on right away:

  1. Roll out an energy efficiency program for …

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CPR HOMEPAGE
More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
March 22, 2021

Haaland, Granholm, and Other Women Make History in Presidential Cabinet

Jan. 22, 2021

Biden Named Richard Glick as Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. What's Next for the Agency?

Jan. 21, 2021

Biden Tapped Frederick, Hughes, Rosenthal for OSHA’s Leadership Team. Here's How They Can Fix the Agency.

Dec. 18, 2020

Trump Damaged the EPA. Here's How Michael Regan Can Rebuild It and Advance Equitable Environmental Protections.

Dec. 17, 2020

Biden Plans to Pick Brenda Mallory to Lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Here's What She Can Do to Boost Public Protections.

Dec. 17, 2020

Biden Nominated Deb Haaland to Lead the Department of the Interior. Here Are Five Top Priorities for the Agency.

Dec. 17, 2020

Jennifer Granholm and the Energy Department Can Usher in a Just Transition to Clean Energy. Here's How.