CABINET-MAKING: President-elect Obama's environment and energy team is taking shape. Here are today's developments:

  • L.A. Deputy Mayor Nancy Sutley will head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, a post whose responsibilities many expect her to expand. (Source: Reuters)
  • Steven Chu, Nobel Prize-winner and current director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is reportedly Obama's pick for energy secretary. Grist's Joe Romm coincidentally just wrote a glowing profile of Chu this afternoon. (Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Grist)
  • Obama is expected to name Lisa Jackson EPA administrator; Jackson is currently New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine's chief of staff and previously headed that state's Department of Environmental Protection. (Source: WSJ)
  • Former EPA administrator Carol Browner is expected to be named to a new "energy czar" position overseeing energy, climate and environmental issues. (Source: WSJ)
EMISSIONS POSSIBLE: The White House and congressional Democrats have agreed on a bill offering a stopgap $14 billion bailout to the Big Three automakers, but a haze of Republican opposition is clouding its prospects of passing. The bill is already watered down from its original version, as Democrats were pressured to remove a provision curtailing the automakers' support of lawsuits against states with strong emissions restrictions. (Source: CNN Money)

A DELEGATE SITUATION: Top U.N. climate official Yvo de Boer told reporters today that the worldwide delegates at the Poznan climate talks, representing 187 countries, have agreed to goals for a global warming treaty. That treaty is the motivation behind next year's Copenhagen summit, but the AP points out the agreements de Boer mentions are similar to those reached last year in Bali and aren't really significant breakthroughs. (Source: AP)

OILY WARNING SIGNS: Energy executives believe oil will be dethroned as the cheapest energy source within about 20 years, according to a survey released today, which cites the increasing political and geological hurdles to reaching dwindling oil supplies. (Source: AP

"STIM-NOVATION": Researchers from UC-Davis make up for what they lack in buzzword-generating ability with articulate idealism in a new paper arguing for Obama creating a Cabinet-level Department of Innovation. The idea touches on Andrew Revkin's point yesterday -- "green jobs" are great, but to stimulate the American economy with technological advancements, we need some people to come up with technological advancements. (Source: Dot Earth

FIN DE FINS: As the Chinese middle class has mushroomed, so has that country's appetite for shark-fin soup, formerly a luxury reserved for China's elite. That means trouble for sharks, and what's bad for sharks is bad for the oceans. (Source: CNN)

Russell McLendon ( @russmclendon ) writes about humans and other wildlife.