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How green is Obama’s cabinet

While U.S. president-elect Barack Obama talks about the need for change, one of his choices for a cabinet position speaks volumes alone.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped to serve as Commerce Secretary, has green cred galore, according to a rundown at Grist. Among the qualifications that set him apart from the standard cut-from-Chamber-of-Commerce-type cloth:

  • He made New Mexico the first U.S. state to join the Chicago Climate Exchange carbon-trading marketplace;
  • He helped form the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative;
  • He signed into law five clean-energy bills in two months alone;
  • He authored a book titled Leading by Example: How We Can Inspire an Energy and Security Revolution; and
  • He served as a board member for a solar energy company.

While Grist notes Richardson has also had ample ties to the oil and natural gas industries, it concedes he has been “bullish about capping carbon and investing in renewables.”

It will be interesting to see how he puts that bullishness into action as head of the Commerce department, whose key constituents have traditionally been big businesses that can’t stomach stricter environmental regulations.

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