Buckeye Farm News
Among President Obama’s more than 3,000 political appointees are his choices for the top agriculture, energy and environment posts. Here are some of the leaders that will oversee decisions that impact farmers over the next four years.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Formerly Iowa’s governor, Vilsack has been a strong proponent of renewable fuels, including ethanol, and an advocate for biotechnology.
“(USDA) must be about the work of improving profitability for farmers and ranchers and expanding opportunities in the rural communities in which they live. It must aggressively promote policies and programs that support sustainable practices to conserve and preserve our precious natural resources.”
Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
Leaving his U.S. Senate seat, Salazar of Colorado will be responsible for oversight of the nation’s natural resources through agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service.
“The (president’s) energy imperative will create jobs here in America, protect our national security and confront the dangers of global warming. I look forward to helping build our clean energy economy, modernize our interstate electrical grid and ensure that we are making wise use of our conventional natural resources including coal, oil and gas.”
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson
Jackson, formerly commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, is now the nation’s top environmental regulator.
“Now more than ever our country is in need of leadership on a host of urgent environmental challenges that face our communities, our cities, our farms and our rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. At the top of the list is the threat of climate change, which requires us to transform how we produce and use energy throughout the economy.”
‘Climate Change Czar’ Carol Browner
Browner fills a newly-created post in the White House to coordinate energy and climate policy. She previously served as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clinton Administration.
“We can create jobs, curb greenhouse gas emissions, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help restore America’s leadership around the world by shaping an environmentally sustainable world economy.”
Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu
Chu is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who has recently led the Berkeley National Laboratory in pursuit of new alternative and renewable energies.
“(I) believe that aggressive support of energy science and technology coupled with incentives that accelerate the development and deployment of innovative solutions can transform the entire landscape of energy demand and supply. What the world does in the coming decade will have enormous consequences that will last for centuries.”