Sources tell Reuters that President Obama intends to nominate air quality expert Gina McCarthy to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz to head the Department of Energy, with the announcements possibly coming as early as this week. [Reuters]
McCarthy would likely become the face of Obama’s latest push to fight climate change. Currently the assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation, she would replace Lisa Jackson, who stepped down as EPA chief this month.
Moniz, a former undersecretary of energy during the Clinton administration, is director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative, a research group that gets funding from industry heavyweights including BP, Chevron, and Saudi Aramco for academic work on projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gases.
Moniz would replace Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, who is stepping down.
The source said announcements of the two nominations were possible this week but were more likely to come later.
[JR: Moniz was a professor of mine at M.I.T. in 1981 (!) and a colleague at DOE in 1997. I think he'd be a fine choice, and will have more to say when the nomination is official.]
The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity has released its scorecard of votes on their key issues for the 112th Congress. While a number of House Members hewed to AFP’s preferred position on every last vote considered, Marco Rubio (R-FL) was the only senator to do so. [AFP]
The League of Conservation Voters also released their annual scorecard. 85 House members and 37 senators received a score of 90 percent or higher, while 175 House members and 17 senators received a score of 10 percent or less. [LCV]
The League of Conservation Voters’ scorecard also found the last Congress was the most hostile to environmental causes in 40 years, the group said on Wednesday. [The Guardian]
Activist investors have succeeded in placing a shareholder resolution on the risks of greenhouse-gas emissions up for a vote at PNC Financial Services Group of Pittsburgh. It’s the first time such a resolution is being considered by the shareholders of a major bank. [LATimes]
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a public meeting to be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on March 8, to discuss new standards to be required for renewable fuels in 2013. [The Hill]
Tesla Motors Inc. reported a larger-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter, but its revenue of $306 million beat expectations. [LATimes]
Iceland is looking for a way to sell the vast surplus electricity it produces from geothermal and renewable power to the European Union — it just needs to find a way to transmit it across more than 1,000 miles of frigid sea. [NYTimes]
European Union member states have approved a plan to register solar panels from China, as the latest step towards imposing duties on the 21 billion euro ($28.08 billion) import market. [Reuters]
In Chile’s ongoing quest to harness its vast green energy resources, a team of scientists is testing conditions in the country’s southern Chacao Channel in the hopes that it may prove to be a bastion for tidal energy. [Santiago Times]