The announced resignation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson may as soon as this week be followed by one from Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Last week, meanwhile, Senate Republicans announced new committee assignments.
A White House decision on a replacement for Jackson has not yet been made, but possible successors include EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, who will replace Jackson on an acting basis. The formal nominee could also be Gina McCarthy, who was confirmed by the Senate as assistant EPA administrator for air and radiation.
Possible successors for Energy Secretary Chu include Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D); former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.); Center for American Progress founder John Podesta (who was President Clinton’s chief of staff); and Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.
New committee assignments announced by Senate Republicans on Jan. 3, pending ratification by the conference and Senate, will see Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Roger Wicker (R-Mo.) replace Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Mike Johanns (R-Nev.) on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, where Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is also expected to replace Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) as ranking member.
Sens. Alexander, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will replace Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will retain her ranking member position. Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Johanns will join the Appropriations Committee. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) will join the Finance Committee. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) will be the ranking member of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.