President Obama Monday announced his nominations to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, and Office of Management and Budget in a ten minute East Room appearance.
Obama named EPA veteran Gina McCarthy as chief of the EPA, Energy Secretary nominee Ernest Moniz (formerly of MIT), and Sylvia Mathews Burwell as leader of the Office of Management and Budget. Ms. Burwell’s budget experience comes from her time in the agency during the Clinton Administration and from her experience heading the Walmart Foundation.
“This is a serious group,” Obama quipped when unveiling his nominees. The first Cabinet meeting of the second term will be held later Monday. “There will also be some other seats waiting to be filled on a permanent basis,” said the President.
While recognizing the good work of outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu, President Obama said he was glad to nominate Dr. Ernest Monize, “another brilliant scientist to take his place.” “Ernie knows that we can produce more energy and grow our economy while still taking care of our air, our water and our environment,” Obama said.
Obama credited the EPA with the “toughest pollution standards in two decades,” before naming McCarthy as his pick to continue progress made at the EPA. “You wouldn’t know it from talking to her, but Gina’s from Boston,” Obama joked. He called her a “straight shooter” who “welcomes different points of view.”
“These two over here, they’re going to be making sure we’re investing in American energy, that we’re doing everything we can to combat the threat of climate change” and grow the economy,” Obama said of the duo.
Obama then focused on Mathews-Burwell as new Budget Chief. She is “somebody who “understands that our goal, when we put together a budget, is not just to make the numbers add up but to reignite the true engine of economic growth in this country – that is a strong and growing middle class.”
Lastly, Obama turned his attention to the sequester situation. “Eventually a lot of people are going to feel some pain,” he said in calling for a balanced approach. “We can get there if people in good will come together.”