Power Innage: For those who feared that the only intersections of green power and grrl power over the last decade were Powerpuff Girl Buttercup and Batman villain Poison Ivy, today brings good news from the Obama transition team.

Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Carol Browner will coordinate energy and climate policy, in a new position that is encouraging lots of speculation among the DC press corps. “Will her office have the same bureaucratic clout — the ability to knock heads together at other agencies — as the National Security Council and the National Economic Council?” asks the New York Times. What they do know is that:

She has called climate change “the greatest challenge ever faced” and echoed Mr. Obama’s call for a cap-and-trade system to control carbon dioxide emissions.

Before leaving office in 2001, she set out to give the E.P.A. authority to regulate the carbon emissions that cause climate change, a power the Bush administration subsequently refused to use despite a Supreme Court ruling endorsing it. She supports California’s ambitious global warming law, which will force automakers to cut tailpipe emissions deeper and faster than current federal law.

Browner received her J.D. at the University of Florida in 1979. Before heading EPA during the Clinton administration, she was Florida’s secretary of environmental regulation. Prior to that, she worked as Al Gore’s legislative director in the senate. Since 2001, she has been a principal partner in the Albright Group, founded by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright

Browner’s special assistant at the EPA was Nancy Sutley, now a deputy mayor of Los Angeles (they have several) and soon to chair the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She, like Browner, was a Hillary Clinton supporter during the primaries, and was one of Clinton’s consultants on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. However, her environmental experience is strong. At the state level, she was “A member of the California State Water Resources Control Board and as the top energy adviser to former Gov. Gray Davis. From 1999-2003 she was deputy secretary for policy and intergovernmental relations at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Among her duties was serving as liaison to the federal E.P.A. and lobbying for California issues in Congress.”

Finally, the new EPA administrator is expected to be Lisa Jackson, former head of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection. Jackson is a chemical engineer with her MSCE from Princeton, and worked for sixteen years in the EPA’s enforcement division. Ironically, she was recently criticized by the EPA for working too slowly to clean up New Jersey’s 122 Superfund sites, land that has been made unusable by toxic waste.

However, according to the Times, she is praised for having “brought a more policy-driven approach to New Jersey’s historically politicized Department of Environmental Protection as its commissioner. During her 33 months in that job, the state began conducting compliance sweeps to crack down on polluters in environmentally ravaged sections of Camden and Paterson, ended its controversial bear hunt and unveiled a plan to reduce carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.”

Back in the gaggle again: After covering the 2008 presidential election campaign, CNN reporter Suzanne Malveaux is returning to her old position as White House correspondent. The return is part of a general shake-up of CNN‘s reporting staff, and is timed to coincide with the incoming administration. Malveaux, formerly of NBC, has been a political correspondent for CNN since 2002, and is Wolf Blitzer’s designated replacement on The Situation Room.

The Emmy- and Peabody-winning Malveaux is a New Orleans native, and covered Hurricane Katrina for CNN in addition to her political duties.

Here she is interviewing Barack Obama in January.

Give her that old-time revision: Slate’s “Human Guinea Pig,” 54-year-old Emily Yoffe, spent a year of weekends living the dream of many an American Girl doll collector – cooking pies and saying “prithree” while wearing hand-sewn garments. Though she could never quite leave the modern world behind, she found it rather relaxing in some ways.

I portrayed Chastity Crump, a middle-aged spinster from a neighboring farm who liked to visit Lydia and help with chores. For one of the farm’s special events, a Colonial wedding, I acted as a kind of hostess, engaging our 21st-century guests in small talk, encouraging them to dance, and handing out cake. With my conelike bodice, billowing hips, ruffled cap, and no makeup (cosmetics are banned on the farm), I felt it would have been easy to live up to my virtuous name.

At home, I am a despiser of the domestic arts. But I loved the meal preparation at the farm. One morning, Cannon got the fire blazing in the hearth, and I assisted with making slapjacks (pancakes made from dried, hand-pounded corn) using fresh turkey eggs, pease porridge (a split pea soup, and, yes, “pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold” ran incessantly through my head as I stirred), and a salad from the dark greens in the garden. There was not a single modern convenience, yet it all didn’t take much longer than a meal Rachael Ray would put together. All the women on the farm came down for the midday meal and we sat outside at a long wooden table, shooing the chickens away. I’m not sure why every simple meal I had there tasted so good. Maybe because it was all raised a few feet from where we ate. Maybe it was the witchy satisfaction of women together stirring their cauldrons.

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  • Nature Concern March 18, 2009 at 11:05 am

    We’ve got to be united to save earth! Earth Hour is practised at large scale in all developed and developing countries but there has been more publicity and awareness this year, as well as participation from large corporations like http://www.commit21.com/ which is a good sign – that there is still hope and that people still care!
    Let’s all do this, no matter where you are! Saturday, 28 March 2009. Lights off from 8.30pm to 9.30pm!