Who’s advising McCain on energy and climate?

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"Who’s advising McCain on energy and climate?"

Greenwire (subs. req’d) has also published a detailed list of who is advising McCain on energy and environment policies, which I am reprinting below the fold.

By contrast, McCain’s campaign relies on a small group of longtime friends and advisers. Campaign staff would not comment on why their advisory team isn’t as large as Obama’s, but sources say the staff’s size reflects how frequently the Arizona senator departs from the Republican Party line on environment and energy issues.

I know Woolsey, and he is certainly very solid on energy security issues. But he is the exception. Doug Holtz-Eakin is much more typical of the conservatives McCain is likely to find available to fill his administration. Like his boss, he doesn’t believe in clean technologies and he doesn’t believe in government efforts to promote them (see Campaign stunner: McCain “might take [new CAFE standards] off the books”).

“I’m not sure a McCain EPA would look any different than an Obama EPA,” quipped Brian Kennedy, a former House Republican leadership aide. “He might even bring Carol Browner back.”

That last quote would be laughable if it weren’t part of a targeted campaign of disinformation. Conservatives — including McCain himself — want the media and independents to believe McCain is liberal on the environment (see “Why McCain hates renewables but pretends he loves them” and “Memo to media: McCain doubletalks to woo conservatives and independents at the same time“). But his voting record makes clear he is a hard-core conservative, who happens to believe that global warming is almost as serious as scientists.

The GOP bench is exceedingly thin on genuine green Republicans — and none of them are conservatives. Anyway, here is his team:

McCain’s team
Doug Holtz-Eakin Doug Holtz-Eakin, the campaign’s economic policy adviser, handles all energy and environmental matters.Holtz-Eakin, 50, met McCain during the senator’s unsuccessful 2000 run for president. Holtz-Eakin was then an economics professor and associate director of the Center for Policy Research in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.Holtz-Eakin had several roles in the Bush administration during President Bush’s first term. He was chief economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2001 to 2002. He then became director of the Congressional Budget Office from 2003 to 2005. Holtz-Eakin also served under former President George H.W. Bush as a senior staff economist in the Council of Economic Advisers.
John Raidt John Raidt is one of McCain’s longest-serving aides and was policy coordinator for McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign.On Capitol Hill, Raidt was McCain’s legislative director from 1993 to 1997 and was staff director for the Senate Commerce Committee. Raidt also worked as a staff member on the 9-11 Commission, which investigated the 2001 terrorist attacks in Washington and New York.Click here to watch Raidt at a panel discussion covered by E&ETV.
James Woolsey James Woolsey, 66, a former CIA director, has been advising McCain on environmental and energy issues since the primary campaign.”I just do what I’m asked,” he said in an April interview. Woolsey said he has known McCain for more than 30 years, dating back to McCain’s job as Senate legislative affairs director for the Navy.Woolsey has served under Democratic and Republican presidents, including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Out of government, his roles include serving as a senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton and as a co-author of the National Commission on Energy Policy report.He has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a master’s from Oxford University and a law degree from Yale Law School.Click here and here to watch Woolsey’s appearances on OnPoint.
Floyd DesChamps Floyd DesChamps, 45, is a longtime McCain aide for energy and environmental issues on Capitol Hill.”No one else would claim it,” DesChamps joked in a recent interview.DesChamps first joined McCain in 1995 as a fellow and returned two years later for a full-time job on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. DesChamps helped write the global warming cap-and-trade bill McCain introduced with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) in 2001. He updated the bill in 2005 and 2007.DesChamps also handles technology and space issues for McCain.A design engineer by training, DesChamps started his career working on nuclear submarines for Westinghouse Electric Corp. He would later join the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to review the use of radioactive materials in medical and industrial devices. DesChamps also worked on nuclear engineering at the Energy Department.He has a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Maryland.
Rebecca Jensen Tallent Rebecca Jensen Tallent is at the center of outreach from the McCain campaign with other informal energy and environmental advisers.Based in Arlington, Va., Tallent, 29, began her Capitol Hill career in 2001 as a legislative assistant in McCain’s Senate office. She moved to Arizona Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe’s office and then returned to McCain in August 2005 to handle immigration issues and reform of the Army Corps of Engineers.Tallent has a political science degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.
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8 Responses to Who’s advising McCain on energy and climate?

  1. EricG says:

    I don’t know about the others, but I’d certainly include Becky Tallent on my advisory team (if you know what I mean and I think that you do).

    Joe, how come we never have any comments from women on the blog?

    [JR: My asst., Kari, blogs here. I've asked others, but frankly, most people of either gender aren't writers and don't accept my invitation.]

  2. Rod Adams says:

    Joe:

    This post once again reinforces my belief that you care more about politics than you do about energy. It looks to me like Mr. DesChamps has a solid technical education and real world experience with making energy systems work, Mr. Holtz-Eakin has a strong economic background, and Raidt and Woolsey have broad backgrounds that allow them to understand the implications of the recommendations. They probably all have wide and deep information sources.

    Coming up with ideas and policies that just might work to solve our current energy supply situation is not about meeting any particular agendas or belief systems in “clean technologies” or government efforts to promote them.

    From my experience in government, when appointed leaders push the professionals to promote particular technologies, the real motive is to lift the economic boat of the major corporations that use traditional political, lobbying and marketing techniques to convince us all that buying their products will help the world. (GE – have you watched the Olympics and GE’s incredible set of ads, Siemens, ADM, BP, DuPont, etc.)

    [JR: This comment convinces me you are part of the old-school conservative mindset that has brought us to the brink of energy and climate catastrophe. I certainly agree that if you don't want strong government action to solve our problems then McCain is your man and his team is first-rate. I will be writing a long article on the subject this week so I'll leave it at that for now.]

  3. red says:

    I saw Floyd DesChamps representing McCain in a debate on space policy a couple months ago. Steve Robinson represented Obama and Lori Garver represented Clinton. DesChamps came across as technically and politically knowledgeable and practical. I’d give him second place in the debate. I don’t think Robinson did well. That may be because his area is education and science, not space. That gave me the impression that Obama’s team was really thin in numbers and experience. The actual Obama space policy documents also backed up that impression – some of it was bad policy in my judgement, some was too vague, and some didn’t even make sense. Garver won the debate easily in my opinion, though.

    With Clinton out Garver is now on Obama’s policy team. Obama now has a new space policy that makes a lot more sense, covers a lot more details, and for the most part is good policy. It addresses a lot of important issues like ITAR reform, Operationally Responsive space, commercial space, and of course climate change (Obama’s original space policy also addressed climate change).

    So, I wonder how much Obama’s energy and climate team has grown in numbers and experience from recent additions from Clinton’s team?

    Incidentally, Lori represented Obama recently in a space policy debate with Apollo astronaut Walt Cunningham representing McCain. Again I’d say she won. Walt had a recent article on global change in Launch magazine I’m sure most readers here will disagree with if they get your hands on it.

  4. Rod Adams says:

    Joe – you wrote:

    [JR: This comment convinces me you are part of the old-school conservative mindset that has brought us to the brink of energy and climate catastrophe. I certainly agree that if you don’t want strong government action to solve our problems then McCain is your man and his team is first-rate. I will be writing a long article on the subject this week so I’ll leave it at that for now.]

    You either did not read my comment, or you are falling into the trap of considering energy issues to be typical “liberal versus conservative” or “Republican versus Democrat”.

    I did not say that I oppose efforts to fight climate change and to change our energy paradigm. In fact, I have dedicated a good portion of my life to just those two challenges. I simply believe that you – with your oceanography degree – have done a reasonable job at diagnosing the illness, but with your lack of any real world energy production experience have done a very poor job of prescribing the cure.

    We have had this discussion before, but I will remind you – I served as the Engineer Officer of a nuclear submarine, so I am very familiar with technology that uses no oil, coal or gas, produces enormous amounts of reliable energy, and can do it while holding its breath almost forever. Mr. DesChamps has a resume that tells me he knows a good bit about that almost magical energy source as well.

    Uranium and thorium do not come out of unstable countries, they are sourced from places like the US, Canada, and Australia. Fully 10% of the electricity produced in the US in the past 15 years has come as a result of a program to destroy nuclear weapons by turning their active material into electricity – pretty good swords to plowshares technique there and one that was championed by Sam Nunn – surely not a big conservative.

    When it comes to energy security, there is nothing like having a power plant that can operate for 33 years without new fuel. The technology not only exists, but it is in operation today.

    You might be very surprised to learn that my friends consider me quite left leaning – I am the son of an NEA member, I sent both of my children through public school and spent some time in the classroom myself, I successfully increased the wages at the factory that I managed over the objections of the owner, and I am a huge believer in removing the income cap on FICA payments.

    If you could remove your nuclear blind spot, you might find that we agree on a number of issues – though I still believe that energy choices have to be made with solid technical advice, not through marketing, lobbying, or political maneuvering.

    [JR: I read your comment. Not sure you did. "Coming up with ideas and policies that just might work to solve our current energy supply situation is not about meeting any particular agendas or belief systems in “clean technologies” or government efforts to promote them." Classic conservative spin.]

  5. Rod Adams says:

    Joe:

    My comment alluded to the following in your initial blog:

    “Like his boss, he doesn’t believe in clean technologies and he doesn’t believe in government efforts to promote them”

    In engineering, we rarely ask people to “believe in” any technologies. Belief is something private between a person and whatever higher power he or she addresses in prayer.

    Technology is driven by facts, analysis, and decision making.

    I also do not agree that it is the government’s proper role to promote technologies, especially those being marketed by enormous corporations like the ones that I listed in my original comment. They can do their own technology promoting and marketing.

    It is certainly not classic conservative spin to desire a government that does not bend to the highest bidder in campaign contributions.

    [JR: They ain't engineers. Fine, replace "believe in" with "understand."]

  6. Rod Adams says:

    JR – you wrote (quite eloquently) They ain’t engineers. Looking back at the original post, you may be referring to Doug Holtz-Eakin and James Woolsey, but Floyd DesChamps – a key member of the team – certainly has an engineering degree, an engineering management masters degree and some real life experience in the field.

    You also wrote Fine, replace “believe in” with “understand”. Sorry if I frustrate you with splitting hairs, but words are important to me. There is a huge difference between “belief” and “knowledge”.

  7. shop says:

    I know Woolsey, and he is certainly very solid on energy security issues. But he is the exception. Doug Holtz-Eakin is much more typical of the conservatives McCain is likely to find available to fill his administration. Like his boss, he doesn’t believe in clean technologies and he doesn’t believe in government efforts to promote them

  8. utanma says:

    and he is certainly very solid on energy security issues. But he is the exception. Doug Holtz-Eakin is much more typical of the conservatives McCain is likely to find available to fill his administration. Like his boss, he doesn’t believe in clean technologies and he doesn’t believe in government efforts to promote them