Biden picks Mallory to lead White House Council on Environmental Quality

“President Biden is going to be taking over at a time where there is just unprecedented destruction at agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency … You can’t just walk in on day one and rollback the rollbacks. Undoing the actions of an administration takes time and they take a lot of effort,” Mallory said in a recent video on the Southern Environmental Law Center website.

CEQ has wide latitude to instruct federal agencies in how to evaluate the environmental impacts of major projects, policies and land-use decisions. It can pull personnel from a range of departments to buttress Biden’s climate change ambitions and a White House staff that is already taking on a greener tinge.

CEQ also oversees the National Environmental Policy Act, a bedrock law President Donald Trump weakened in a move cheered by developers. The law outlines public comment procedures and environmental assessments for everything ranging from highway to pipeline projects, and Mallory will likely face pressure to alter changes Trump’s CEQ initiated.

Mallory also has served as acting general counsel and principal deputy general counsel at EPA. She also chaired the natural resources practice at law firm Beveridge and Diamond and was executive director and senior counsel for the Conservation Litigation Project.