New Cabinet Nominees to Tackle Budget, Climate Change

President Obama announces picks for new budget director, head of EPA and energy department.
3:00 | 03/04/13

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Transcript for New Cabinet Nominees to Tackle Budget, Climate Change
This is a special report. From ABC news now. And good morning everyone I'm -- Cutler in New York President Obama is about to announce his latest cabinet picks for the Energy Department the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Management and Budget. All of those apartments MIT scientists -- -- -- -- is being -- head -- the Energy Department EP veteran Gene McCarthy to run the Environmental Protection Agency and to head at the Office of Management and Budget President Bush has pat Sylvia Matthews. -- well I wanna go to what digital correspondent DeVon Barton Washington -- of course -- continue to watch the White House there and we will cut off -- view what's the president does make -- with podium but I want to start with some of the details on some of these nominees for someone to talk about. -- monus heading up the Energy Department terrorism is some interesting back story on his credentials right. Yeah that's right -- is as it is a very interest in figure he's a veteran of previous democratic administration served under Bill Clinton. He's currently a professor at MIT. And he's a well known advocate Dan four for natural gas in this country of course they just discovered. A big supply of natural gas of that industry is booming he's been -- -- big supporter of that he's also big supporter of nuclear energy. And his Matra really is that those to -- energy sources -- kind of a bridge. To a low carbon future -- he sees. Those two those two avenues as being very important right now for the president's all the above energy strategy of course nuclear energy. And more natural gas fracking that goes along with that are not very popular among -- -- So right and fracking obviously has been an issue that certainly has taken front and center for a lot of democratic environmentalists and of course all of these nominations require senate confirmation is there hesitancy or reluctance within the White House to put up that kind of -- name it's very early at this. Why Dan congress is just coming back from the weekend haven't heard a lot of -- yet. But of the three nominees today it would be monitors who would draw the most criticism I would think. Are from Republicans on the hill particularly. Her you know particularly. Over some of his issues with with natural -- -- -- a little bit about Gina McCarthy because she is actually already familiar she's already working with the EPA correct. That's right she's the one -- today who -- currently part of the administration she's a 25 year veteran of government. She's been around for awhile actually interest -- from Massachusetts she used to -- for governor Romney Mitt Romney when he was governor up there. And so is -- seen as President Obama -- green quarterback Warren. One environmental group told me today so she's -- be a key player and him pushing his agenda to fight climate change and dental records. Serial right the president. There -- have seem to have seat. Well good morning everybody. This afternoon all hold mired the first cabinet meeting of my second term. And there'll be some new faces and there'll be some familiar faces. In new jobs. But there'll also be some seats waiting to be filled. On -- permanent basis and today I'm announcing my plan to nominate three outstanding individuals to help us tackle some of our most important challenges. One of those shelters is building on the work that we've done to control our own energy future. While reducing pollution that contributes to climate change and few people it played. Moral role in addressing these issues than a current secretaries. Of energy Steve venture. Stevens helped us. To speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy he's given. More of our brightest young scientists the opportunity to pursue the ideas that shape our future so could not be more grateful. To Steve for the incredible contribution that he's made to this country. And now that he's decided to leave Washington for sunny California. I'm proud to nominate another brilliant scientist takes place mr. -- -- There's very right. Won't -- -- better ARD -- the way around the Department of Energy. He is a physicist by training but he also served as undersecretary of energy under President Clinton. Since then he's directed MIT's. Energy initiative which brings together prominent bankers and energy companies. To develop the technologies that can lead us. Two more energy independence and also to new jobs. And most importantly. Ernie knows that we can produce more energy and grow our economy. While still taking care of our air or water and our climate and so I could not be more pleased to have -- join us and he will be joined in that effort. My my nominee to lead the environmental protection agents. You know over the last four years Lisa Jackson and her team at the EPA have helped us to reduce emissions. Of dangerous carbon pollution caused climate change. Put in place. The toughest new pollution standards in two decades. Police is now ready for a well deserved break. And I want. Very much -- Bob purchased -- that sappy. Who's not only been a great deputy administrator but -- also been acting as. The acting administrator so please Bob. Ever give Bob -- right. Oh removal. I think there is. Nobody who can do a better job and throwing leases -- permanently. And my nominee who stand beside me here Jamie -- You wouldn't know from talking or -- -- from Boston. And one of -- proudest moments was yelling play ball at Fenway before Red Sox game. But -- has -- play more to be proud. As top environmental official in Massachusetts. And Connecticut she helped design programs to expand energy efficiency and promote renewable energy. As assistant EPA administrator -- is focused on practical cost effective ways to keep our air clean and our economy growing. She's earned -- A reputation as a -- She welcomes different points of views. I'm confident that she's gonna do an outstanding job. -- -- -- So these two over here they're going to be. Making sure that we're investing in American energy that we're doing. Everything that we can to combat the threat of climate change that we're going to be creating jobs and economic opportunity in the first place. They -- going to be a great team. These are some my top priorities going forward. But as president one things you learn very quickly is that it's not enough just to talk big game the real test whether your priorities are reflected in a budget. And that's where the rubber hits the road. That's where my third nominee comes -- since I took office -- science has served as America's first chief performance officer. And the deputy director the management. -- Director for management of the Office of Management and Budget he's made our government more efficient. He saved taxpayers lot of money. He stepped in as acting director of won't be not once but twice including leading up to fiscal -- So there's no question that Jeff skill and versatility has served the American people very well I expect it will continue to serve us well in the future. In the meantime I am confident. That. My nominee for OMB director Sylvia Matthews -- well -- the right person to continue -- great work. In the 99 is when she was. Well. Nineteen. -- served under Jack -- As deputy director norm being part of a team that presided over three budget surpluses in a -- Later she helped the gates foundation grow into a global force for good. And then she helped the Wal-Mart foundation expand its charitable work. So Soviet knows her way around about. But as the -- granddaughter -- Greek immigrants should also understands. That our goal when we put together a budget is not just to make the numbers add up. Our goal is also to reignite the true engine of economic growth in this country and that is a strong and growing middle class. To offer ladders of opportunity for anybody willing to climb. Sylvia's mom is here and -- Soviet lost talk about her parents. Growing up and West Virginia and the values that they instilled in her as educators. I think that reflects everything that it's over him does and so I'm absolutely confident. That she's gonna do a great job Colombian and those values are especially important remember now. As we continue to -- try and find a way forward in light of the budget cuts that are artists are the cost us jobs and -- our economy. -- I said before the American people are resort. And I noted Jeff and Sylvia will do everything in their power to blunt the impact of these cuts on businesses and middle class families. But eventually. A lot of people are gonna feel some pain. That's why we gotta keep on working to reduce our deficit in a balanced way. An approach that supported by the majority the American people including. A majority of Republicans. And I'm confident that we can get their if people of good will come together so I want to thank Steve. And -- and Jeff. Once more for their outstanding service. For all the great work they've done in this administration over the last. Several years I -- thank -- Gina and Sylvia and their families. For agreeing to take on the big roles. I hope the senate will confirm them as soon as possible. Because we've got a lot of work to do and we cannot afford -- but I can promise you that as soon as the senate gives them the go ahead they're gonna hit the ground running. And they're gonna help make America. A stronger more prosperous country so thank you very much -- much. Yeah all right in the present America wrapping up -- latest announcements those three nominees. -- they are MIT physicist or in movies and his nomination to head up the Energy Department's Gina McCarthy to run the EPA and to the Office of Management and Budget the president -- And Sylvia Matthews -- well -- to back down to Devin Dwyer and Washington DC about this -- that we -- -- -- the by the presidents of just before we were had a chance to talk about. Sylvia Mathews for well. But she obviously also served under President Clinton as President Obama had mentioned there. Bombed and the second of those who not of those three nominees that had also served under the Clinton administration. Talked a little bit about those three nominees as far as how we're gonna change -- the dynamics of the new -- I think the big picture here is really interest in Dan these with these appointment of two women nomination of two women today. -- the president's really shown that he hit he has continued to diversify the cabinet remember early on. After his second inauguration there are some criticism the president didn't have enough women. Or minorities on on his core team well today. He showed again that that he is still committed to that -- attitude to the list and only has about six women on. -- top positions and there are few few more openings also showed today Dan -- the president. It's gonna bring in some outsiders right so even though a couple of these people are veterans of the Clinton administration -- kind of fresh blood they have been part of the administration that something different. For the president because he has tended to promote from within as we saw earlier -- this year with pics of say Jim like Jack Lew. -- series can get some some fresh fresh outside ideas in the next -- it it it -- energy -- Auction and consumption obviously was a big topic during the campaign. Notably so -- had fallen by the wayside somewhat as we had watch these sequester cuts now take effect for the first full term day. What are the big challenges ahead for the White House as they're gonna now revamp their efforts in the Energy Department. They're really three big challenges on the agenda again at the end of his first term he really kind of kick some of these things down the road with the election on the horizon. Now when the first thing -- that he's gonna have to address and that McCarthy will have to take a look at these EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental groups have been looking for these for some time. PGA's gonna have to come out with these that's going to cause some controversy in Washington of course Republicans in the big oil companies energy companies are opposed. What also have to see what they do about fracking this is becoming a more controversial practice. It's the kind of polluting practice that's -- and extracting natural gas. We're gonna look for some new regulations there and finally the big one on the horizon. Is the Keystone Pipeline that big controversial pipeline it's gonna carry oil from the tar sands in Alberta down to the Gulf Coast. There's a decision on that looming. All of these things are seen as kind of a litmus test -- and -- -- environmental groups for the president to see if he's really serious about climate change. Japan we shall see as that and as the president said hopefully this has in his. Idea anyway that the senate will confirm those three nominees. As quickly as possible -- guard Devin thank you so much for your insight this morning. Assistant special with the from in the ABC news now.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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