President Obama is about to nominate outgoing Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire as the new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a very private prediction from a very senior source in Washington’s congressional delegation.
Gregoire was director of Washington’s Department of Ecology before being elected Attorney General in 1992. The future governor made her reputation by negotiating a Hanford nuclear waste cleanup agreement with the first Bush administration, which has held up in court through efforts by the feds’ to wiggle out of their commitments.
The administration’s top environmental post became vacant with the recent resignation of EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. A former boss of New Jersey’s environmental agency, Jackson enjoyed an up-and-down ride in the Obama administration.
The EPA has begun to set emission standards for power plants that emit greenhouse gases, and Jackson was a player in setting new standards that will double the mileage efficiency of new cars and SUV’s — arguably the administration’s chief environmental accomplishment.