President-elect Obama to Make Energy/Environment Announcements Next Week

Dec 10, 2008 5:14pm

ABC News has learned that in a press conference next week, President-elect Obama will announce that Carol Browner will likely serve as the White House energy "czar," Nobel Laureate Steven Chu will be his nominee for Secretary of the Department of Energy, and Lisa Jackson will likely serve as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Tomorrow in Chicago, the President-elect will announce that former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle will serve as his Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Browner worked in both terms of former President Bill Clinton’s White House as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. She has worked for Senator Lawton Chiles,.D-Fla., and then-Senator Al Gore, D-Tenn. Before being tapped for Obama’s administration, Brower was a principal of the Albright Group.

Chu does not have appear to have any particular governmental or political experience, outside of his current job as director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a federal lab operated by the University of California. There, he has worked to find scientific solutions to issues of climate change. Prior to running the Berkeley Lab, Chu was on the faculty at Stanford University and worked AT&T’s Bell Labs. He won the Nobel prize for physics in 1997 for developing methods to trap and cool atoms using laser light.

Daschle is a former Senate Majority Leader, serving in the U.S. Senate for South Dakota from 1987-2005. He previously served in the House of Representatives for eight years. Daschle was a frequent companion on the campaign trail with then-Sen. Obama during the primary campaign. His wife Linda Hall Daschle has for years been a powerful lobbyist, though she recently announced she’s leaving her lobbying firm to start her own, which will not accept clients related to health care policy.

Jackson has served for only a few weeks as chief of staff to New Jersey’s Democratic Governor Jon Corzine. The governor announced her appointment at the end of October, and she took over on Dec. 1. Previously, Jackson was the head of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, where she enforced environmental laws and regulations throughout the state, and stepped up outreach to New Jersey citizens to involve them in environmental protection. Jackson served as the co-chair of Mr. Obama’s transition team on energy and natural resources.

– Jake Tapper, Bret Hovell and Sunlen Miller

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