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U.S. President-elect Barack Obama solidified his environmental team this week, naming leading experts and veteran Environmental Protection Agency officials to top posts. The top cabinet position -- energy secretary -- was given to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu, who specializes in the study of solar energy and is the first Nobel winner to be named to a U.S. Cabinet post.
The Obama administration is making quick strides in appointing personnel with an eye for green solutions ahead of next month's inauguration. The League of Conservation Voters called Obama's Environmental and Energy staff a "green dream team."
"We're not having to bang down the door at the Obama administration," said Melinda Pierce, deputy legislative director for the Sierra Club.
Many attribute the attention from the Obama team in part to increased coordination among environmental organizations. Twenty-nine major national groups, including all the big names, came together late last month to unveil "Transition to Green (PDF)," a 391-page document detailing exactly what they hope the next administration will do on environmental issues.
Here is video of Obama meeting with members of the "Transition to Green" team:
Here is video of Obama's press conference (text and photos can be found here):
Here's a brief who's who of the next U.S. administration's energy and environment team:
Secretary of Energy - Nobel Prize-winning scientist and the current head of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Steven Chu
Secretary of the Interior - Senator Ken Salazar (D) of Colorado, an expert in water law.
Head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Current head of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection Lisa P. Jackson
Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality - Deputy Mayor for energy and environment for Los Angeles Nancy Sutley
Assistant to the president for energy and climate - Former EPA administrator Carol M. Browner - (this position is new and she will coordinate energy and climate policies among different federal and state agencies)
Click here for more on the Obama-Biden Environment plan