Biden picks Obama alum for No. 2 spot at Interior
President Biden has selected Tommy Beaudreau for the No. 2 role at the Interior Department after nixing a previous pick amid reported opposition from swing-vote senators.
Biden’s nomination of Beaudreau to be deputy Interior secretary comes amid a slate of other picks announced Wednesday for top roles at the department, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Energy Department and Transportation Department.
Beaudreau held several roles at the department under the Obama administration, including serving as the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. He was also the department’s chief of staff and was acting assistant secretary for land and minerals management.
Currently, he’s a lawyer at the firm Latham & Watkins LLP.
The nomination, first reported by E&E News on Tuesday, received mixed reviews from environmental groups.
Jennifer Rokala, the executive director at the Center for Western Priorities, praised Beaudreau, saying in a statement that his “extensive experience at the Interior Department makes him exceedingly qualified to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Interior.”
However, Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, accused Beaudreau of being “cozy with the biggest polluters on the planet and will undermine the president’s efforts to rein in fossil fuel extraction on public lands and waters.”
“He’s the wrong choice and an unfortunate concession to the fossil fuel industry,” Hartl said in a statement.
The selection of Beaudreau comes after the White House had originally planned to nominate Elizabeth Klein to the role. That pick was reversed after reported opposition from Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
Another nominee, Jill Hruby, was announced Wednesday to take charge of the country’s nuclear weapons agency.
Hruby was previously the director of Sandia National Laboratories, where she worked on nuclear weapons systems, nonproliferation and other issues, and was the first woman to lead a national security lab.
She’ll now serve as the Energy Department’s under secretary for nuclear security and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration.
At Interior, Biden is also nominating Shannon Estenoz for the position of assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, Winnie Stachelberg for the assistant secretary for policy, management and budget and Tanya Trujillo for assistant secretary for water and science.
At EPA, Biden nominated Radhika Fox to be assistant administrator for water, Michael Freedhoff to be assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution protection and Faisal Amin to be chief financial officer.
He has also nominated Meera Joshi for the post of administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at the Transportation Department.