This afternoon, hours after President Obama took office, the U.S. Senate confirmed three powerful new players in the American energy scene. The new secretaries of Energy, Interior and Agriculture are now in power. Together they will have considerable range to shape the next four years for alternative energy research, corn-based ethanol, government land leases to fossil fuel companies.
Whatever major general policy Obama's Admin adopts towards global warming, these three men will have nmuch to say about the details of that policy across America.
Interior Secretary Salazar has pledged to push for American energy independence, bad news for Big Oil. Surprisingly he told the Senate he opposed his employees partying and having sex with oil comnpany execs. Energy Secretary Chu, Nobel Prize physicist, is likely to be point man on alternative energy research and federal funding. Chu will also be the federal figurel at the nexus of any national "clean coal" tech. The last Presidential admin backed off a proposed NextGen coal burning plant in Mattoon, Illinois.