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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

Where it stands: The EPA gig is just one of several important outstanding selections. The New York Times has a nice rundown of names in contention for other energy- and climate-related jobs.

Here's just a few...

  • Mustafa Santiago Ali, a former EPA official, is in contention to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He's currently an exec with the National Wildlife Federation.
  • Ali A. Zaidi, a top New York State energy official who also served in the Obama administration, "is widely considered the front-runner for the role of domestic climate change coordinator," the NYT reports.
  • The NYT and E&E News both report that former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is a possibility for the White House climate coordinator role, while E&E also lists Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee as an option.
  • Michael Connor, an alum of the Obama and Clinton administrations, is among the options for Interior Secretary, per the NYT. He's a citizen of the Taos Pueblo, and the piece notes there's strong interest in nominating a Native American to lead Interior for the first time.
  • Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, also "remains a contender" for Interior, the NYT reports.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jan 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.