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Obama Announces his Environment & Energy Team

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An aide to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa may have been appointed to President-Elect's Barack Obama's White House Council on Environmental Quality, but a top California official was not chosen to head the Environmental Protection Agency, despite speculations that she was a top choice.

Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board was rumored to be a candidate for the EPA job, but at today's announcement, Lisa Jackson, the chief of staff for New Jersey's governor, was tapped to lead the agency.

Steven Chu, a Nobel Price-winning physicist from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, will head the Department of Energy and Carol Browner, the former EPA head during the Clinton administration, will take the moniker as the White House's "climate czar" as she helps coordinate climate policies within several departments.

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As reported last week, Obama said Nancy Sutley from Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa's office will be his pick for chair of the White House council on environmental quality. She is already “at the cutting edge” of state and local governments’ environmental protection effort," reported the Wall Street Journal.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director Steven Chu in San Francisco | AP Photo/Ben Margot, File