Mike Boots, chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will become acting chairman this month when current Chairwoman Nancy Sutley steps down, the White House announced Thursday.
A CEQ spokeswoman strongly praised Boots’s work, but did not say whether he would be formally nominated to lead the council. He’ll become acting head on Feb. 18.
CEQ Communications Director Taryn Tuss said Boots, an ocean-conservation and Clinton administration veteran, has been an “integral part” of major environmental decisions by the admnistration and has been a “key liaison between agencies and White House senior staff.”
“He helped develop the President’s Climate Action Plan and is a strong force behind ensuring agencies are on track to implement it. He has coordinated the administration’s work to establish new national monuments that permanently protect unique American sites, as well as to restore the Gulf Coast region’s ecosystem following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” Tuss said. Boots has also worked on federal ocean policy and making the federal government more energy efficient, Tuss said.
Early in the Obama administration Boots was an associate director at CEQ, managing its portfolio on natural-resource topics. In the private sector he was a senior official with the ocean-conservation group SeaWeb.
Boots worked at the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration and later was a Washington-based adviser to then-California Gov. Gray Davis.
CEQ helps coordinate and craft federal green policies and oversees implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act, the 1970 law that requires agencies to analyze how their decisions will affect the environment.
The council had a high profile during the George W. Bush administration, when then-CEQ Chairman James Connaughton was a public face and point person on Bush’s environmental policies.
It has had a lower profile in the Obama administration, and other top aides such as former energy and climate czar Carol Browner have wielded considerable power.
What We're Following See More »
In town to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, Bill Murray casually strolled into the White House Briefing Room this afternoon. A spokesman said he was at the executive mansion for a chat with President Obama, his fellow Chicagoan.
"A federal appeals court's decision that declared the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau an arm of the White House relies on a novel interpretation of the constitution's separation of powers clause that could have broader effects on how other regulators" like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."
Twitter bots, "automated social media accounts that interact with other users," accounted for a large part of the online discussion during the first presidential debate. Bots made up 22 percent of conversation about Hillary Clinton on the social media platform, and a whopping one third of Twitter conversation about Donald Trump.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the nonprofit that published the Panama Papers earlier this year, is being spun off from its parent organization, the Center for Public Integrity. According to a statement, "CPI’s Board of Directors has decided that enabling the ICIJ to chart its own course will help both journalistic teams build on the massive impact they have had as one organization."