WASHINGTON – Statement by Sunrise Movement Political Director, Evan Weber, on the selection of Brian Deese as Director of the National Economic Council for the Biden Administration:
“In July, Sunrise Movement joined a private letter to the Biden campaign and transition team urging that they not consider any Blackrock executives for the administration until the company — the world’s largest financier of fossil fuels and forest destruction practices — make significant shifts in its sustainability practices. To date, these changes have not been addressed. There are many diverse, qualified people that can help Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Build Back Better who didn’t choose to work at predatory investment firms. The revolving door between Wall Street and the White House does no good for working people or the planet.
“Many people have pointed to Brian Deese’s record in the Obama administration on climate change as evidence that he will be a very strong advocate for bold climate action from his perch as NEC director, and Biden has described him as the “first [NEC Director] who is a true expert on climate policy”. Biden is absolutely correct that “if we’re going to tackle the climate challenge, solutions must be woven into every aspect of our policymaking,” as he said when announcing Deese for the role. We don’t wish to litigate Brian’s record or his commitment — it’ll be his job to prove he understands the urgency of the climate threat every day in his position, and our movement will be there to remind him of what’s at stake. Rather, we’d like to use this opportunity to make a broader point.
“We founded Sunrise Movement not just to defeat Donald Trump and a climate-denying GOP, but as a response to the failures of the Obama administration to address the climate crisis with the urgency the science demands and, frankly, the failure of mainstream environmental advocates to sufficiently hold Democrats to those scientific standards. The science has only gotten more dire and urgent since the Obama years. If the Biden-Harris team wants to show that they will treat the crises we face with the urgency they demand, just appointing people around in the Obama years isn’t going to inspire confidence.
“To show he hears the concerns of younger generations and is committed to building a diverse team that goes beyond the old guard, he can appoint people like Deb Haaland for Secretary of Interior, Marcia Fudge or Chellie Pingree for Secretary of Agriculture, Bharat Ramamurti for a senior economic position.”
This post was originally published on Radio Free.