By Trevor Hunnicutt and Valerie Volcovici
WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday he had selected Brian Deese, who helped lead President Barack Obama’s efforts to bail out the automotive industry during the 2009 financial crisis and was a key player in helping secure the Paris climate agreement, to head the National Economic Council (NEC).
The appointment of Deese, who would be the youngest NEC director, signals the incoming Biden administration’s intention to put climate change at the heart of its plans for reviving the U.S. economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m asking Brian Deese to do this job because he’s someone who looks at hard problems and finds solutions that help make life better for American families,” Biden said in a video posted by his transition team. “He’ll be the first (NEC director) who is a true expert on climate policy.”
Deese worked on a number of knotty problems during the Obama administration, including the administration’s bailout of the U.S. auto industry, budget deals with Congress, and international climate change talks that culminated in a Paris deal to fight global warming.
He failed at one task: trying to identify https://br.reuters.com/article/usa-court-adviser/obama-adviser-deese-to-lead-white-houses-supreme-court-process-idUSL2N16818V a Supreme Court pick who Republicans would vote for, despite their vows not to confirm any judge at all.
He served as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget and the National Economic Council and as a senior climate and energy advisor to Obama.
After serving in the Obama administration, he took a job running sustainable investment at $7.4 trillion asset giant BlackRock Inc (NYSE:), which is shedding some coal investments but is also a major investor in fossil fuel companies.
Deese’s work at BlackRock prompted an outcry by several environmental and progressive groups who have criticized the appointee for working for corporate interests and said he was not aggressive enough on climate change.
Evan Weber, co-founder of the progressive Sunrise Movement, is continuing to raise questions about Deese and what he called the “revolving door between Wall Street and the White House.”
But in recent days, former Obama administration officials and some progressives in the Democratic party have come to Deese’s defense.
“Choosing Brian Deese to lead coordination of economic policy means there will be an effective climate policy leader driving a climate-centered economic agenda,” said Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, co-author of the Green New Deal congressional resolution with New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm said Deese was “a stellar choice”. “Along with @JoeBiden and @BarackObama Brian Deese shepherded the rescue of the auto industry. I was there. His brilliance and his determination to save auto jobs lifted Michigan from our knees,” she said on Twitter.
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by : Reuters