Assuming her responsibilities as the 51st secretary of the interior, Sally Jewell was sworn in on April 12 at the U.S. Supreme Court. Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor administered the oath of office. O’Connor and Jewell worked together on the National Parks Second Century Commission. Prior to her confirmation, Jewell served in the private sector, most recently as president and CEO of Recreation Equipment Inc. (REI). Before joining REI, Jewell spent 19 years as a commercial banker, first as an energy and natural resources expert and later working with a diverse array of businesses. Trained as a petroleum engineer, Jewell started her career with Mobil Oil. She is an avid outdoorswoman. One of the issues confronting Interior Secretary Jewell will be the department’s reputation for slow and uncertain approval of mine permits.

At MIT, Dr. Moniz’s research focused on energy technology and policy, including a leadership role in the university’s interdisciplinary technology and policy studies on the future of nuclear power, coal, nuclear fuel cycles, natural gas and solar energy in a low-carbon world. Dr. Moniz served as under secretary of the Department of Energy during the Clinton Administration. He told U.S. Senators he would neither support nor offer a carbon tax scheme. He said he was more interested in R&D for the renewable energy sector and seeking ways to reduce U.S. oil dependence. He believes a low-carbon economy is critical.

McCarthy currently serves as the assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. Speaking at a White House ceremony in March 2013, Obama praised McCarthy’s work as assistant EPA administrator. At a hearing on greenhouse gases before a House subcommittee on energy and power in June 2012, McCarthy said carbon pollution is leading to more frequent and intense heat waves…  “Greenhouse gas pollution, through its contribution to global climate change, presents a significant threat to Americans’ health and to the environment upon which our economy and security depends.” Like Obama, McCarthy has called on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gas pollution through tougher clean-air regulations.

Each of the three candidates seem on the surface to be a little more informed and more open than the people they are replacing. The industry will not get to see their true colors until they are in office for a few months. For now though, tragically, it appears that the second term of the Obama administration will likely be a carbon copy of the first term.

Steve Fiscor, Coal Age Editor-In-Chief