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Cedric Richmond and Joe Biden. Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

"U.S. environmental activists are heaping pressure on Democratic president-elect Joe Biden to avoid Cabinet appointees with fossil fuel ties," Reuters points out.

Why it matters: The incoming Biden administration is starting to announce important personnel picks, with Cabinet choices looming, and activists are keen to see advocates of aggressive climate policies.

Driving the news: In one early skirmish, some activists are upset over the selection of Louisiana Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond as senior adviser and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

  • The job, per Politico, involves outreach and collaboration with outside interests including climate advocates.
  • Sunrise Movement executive director Varshini Prakash called the selection a "betrayal," citing substantial oil-and-gas industry donations to Richmond during his House careers, among other criticisms.

Quick take: It's the green movement's job to seek allies who have the president's ear and power within the White House. "Personnel is policy," as Sen. Elizabeth Warren likes to say.

  • But come on, man. The (likely) GOP Senate and the judiciary are way bigger checks on Biden's climate ambitions than these staffing decisions.

What we're watching: These battles going forward (if indeed there are more) are likely to show the strategic differences between various parts of the green movement.

  • Groups on the left flank, like Sunrise, 350.org and Greenpeace, won't hesitate to criticize decisions openly, while more establishment groups with stronger ties to the Democratic party prefer to try and exert influence privately.

Where it stands: The New York Times has a look at how the incoming administration hopes to see new climate policies emerge governmentwide, not just environmental and resource agencies.

  • "Biden’s inner circle routinely asks 'is the person climate-ambitious?' of candidates even for lower profile positions like the White House budget and regulatory offices, according to a person advising the transition."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 25, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Powerful lobbying groups push back on climate suits

Powerful lobbying groups are throwing their support behind oil companies' efforts to keep climate-related lawsuits against the industry out of state courts.

Driving the news: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, among others, filed amicus briefs this week supporting Big Oil companies in a pending jurisdictional case before the Supreme Court.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.