In a statement, a CEQ spokeswoman said Flegal will be tasked with developing “equitable and just policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote technological advancement, and support job creation in the manufacturing and industrial sector.”
Her appointment signals a new approach to climate policy under President Biden. Where past presidents have turned to economists and officials with backgrounds in the energy industry, Flegal is a scholar of science, technology and society. STS scholars, as they are often known, study how society shapes science.
Flegal is among a handful of new appointees with similar backgrounds, including Shalanda Baker, the deputy director for energy justice at the Department of Energy, and Alondra Nelson, deputy director for science and society in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
“And the second thing that’s really important is that as you subsidize or incentivize clean energy alternatives, you are presumably growing political coalitions that stand to benefit from more ambitious climate policy over time and blunting the power of opposition to climate action, potentially simultaneously.”