The Wonk Room would like to congratulate Center for American Progress senior fellow Robert Sussman, who the Washington Post’s Al Kamen reports “is returning to the Environmental Protection Agency” as “senior policy counsel to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, advising her on climate and environmental issues across the agency.” An official announcement is expected shortly. Before joining the Center for American Progress, Sussman was the Deputy Administrator during the Clinton administration, serving under Carol Browner, now President Obama’s White House energy and environment adviser.
Sussman was a Wonk Room regular, writing on the Mary Gade scandal, the Bush administration, and climate legislation. In particular, he explained in clear language why Bush’s disdain for environmental regulation was flawed. Sussman demolished the argument that laws like the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Endangered Species Act are not applicable to the threat of global warming:
The truth is that our environmental laws were not written to be static. They are flexible tools to address unanticipated or emerging problems that science identifies over time.
Sussman’s work for the Center for American Progress highlighted that practical approach. He crafted recommendations for regulatory and funding mechanisms to spur the development of carbon capture and sequestration technology for coal plants, “to reconcile reliance on coal for electricity with the need to reduce the threat of global warming.”
His knowledge, experience, and passion will be invaluable in restoring the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency.