President Barack Obama announced his nominees to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy today. After speaking out about global warming in both his Inaugural Address and State of the Union speech this year, the President hopes that the new appointees will help lead the administration toward meaningful climate change policy-making.
Gina McCarthy will step from her current role as assistant EPA administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, to replace Lisa Jackson for that agency's top spot. Meanwhile, Ernest Moniz will replace Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy in the President's Cabinet. Both nominees will require confirmation by the Senate.
Moniz most recently held a position as the Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Energy Initiative, overseeing projects that angled to reduce greenhouse gasses. Despite this, his appointment has been met with skepticism from some environmental groups who don't like his record of partnering with big oil companies like BP, Shell and Chevron.
McCarthy has worked with both Democrats and Republicans in the past, including a stint with Obama's Presidential opponent, Mitt Romney. At the announcement, the President said of McCarthy, "Gina has focused on practical, cost-effective ways to keep our air clean and our economy growing."