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Photo: Stephanie Gross for Southern Environmental Law Center

President-elect Joe Biden has selected veteran environmental lawyer Brenda Mallory to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), his transition team announced Thursday.

Why it matters: If confirmed, Mallory would have Biden’s ear as an environmental policy adviser and oversee policy coordination across the federal government. She would also be the first African American to serve in the position.

The big picture: Mallory, currently the director of regulatory policy for the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), has 35 years of experience in environmental law and policy under her belt.

  • She served as general counsel of CEQ under the Obama administration and held leadership positions at the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • At SELC, she has led regulatory policy work at federal and state levels.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Amy Harder: Mallory is the latest sign of how Biden is tapping into Obama-era officials who can hit the ground running on executive-branch policy given the low odds Congress will pursue big climate initiatives.

What they’re saying: “Mallory brings deep and versatile expertise working directly with communities and partners across the public and private sectors to solve climate challenges and advance environmental protection and environmental justice,” the Biden-Harris transition team said in a press release.

  • SELC Executive Director Jeff Gleason said in a statement that “Brenda has the experience, courage, and commitment to address the urgent environmental challenges we face."
  • “She is an exceptional lawyer and leader, and I have no doubt her taking on this role positions us for a better environmental future. SELC’s loss is the country’s gain,” Gleason added.

Go deeper: Biden picks North Carolina environmental regulator Michael Regan to lead EPA

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Jan 21, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Big business backs key climate change regulations

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two of Washington’s biggest lobbying groups say they support the Biden administration’s plan to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas wells.

Why it matters: The shift, instigated by the Chamber of Commerce and American Petroleum Institute, is one of the most concrete signs of how corporations are beginning to support action on climate change in the face of pressure from investors, politicians and the public.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

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