Carol Browner to oversee energy and climate at the White House

The Washington Post broke the news last night:

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to announce — perhaps as early as Wednesday — that Clinton administration Environmental Protection Agency chief Carol Browner will take a new White House position as head of environmental, energy, climate and related matters, according to Democratic sources.

Now a principal at The Albright Group, a “global strategy firm” founded by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, Browner was the longest-serving administrator in EPA history.

Browner is first rate, and she definitely gets the climate issue. She is a board member of the Center for American Progress, and I recently introduced her at a CAP event (click here) that provides some insight into her thinking.

I can’t tell from this story whether the White House has embraced some sort of National Energy and Climate Council, but that would be a terrific idea. This may well make the secretary of energy job less attractive to a big-name player, which actually would be fine with me, since some of the “big” names floated, like Duke CEO Jim Rogers or T. Boone Pickens would be terrible. More on this as details emerge.

3 Responses to Carol Browner to oversee energy and climate at the White House

  1. walle says:

    Now the question is, who will become new CEQ Chairman. My guess is Jason Grumet.

  2. Joe says:

    AP: President-elect Barack Obama has selected a deputy mayor of Los Angeles to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality, transition officials said Wednesday.

    Nancy Sutley is the first prominent member of the gay and lesbian community to earn a senior role in the Democrat’s new administration.

    With many of his top White House and Cabinet posts filled, Obama now is focusing on fleshing out his natural resources and environment team, and could formally introduce his choices for interior secretary, energy secretary and environmental protection agency chief within weeks if not days.

    Two transition officials disclosed Sutley’s selection on the condition of anonymity because Obama had not yet made the announcement.

    Sutley supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton during the Democratic primary and was a member of her Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender steering committee.

    The deputy mayor for energy and environment in Los Angeles and the mayor’s representative on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Sutley has a long record of working on environmental and natural resources policy.

    She previously served on the California State Water Resources Control Board, which is responsible for protecting water quality and resources throughout the state, and was the energy adviser to former Gov. Gray Davis. During President Bill Clinton’s administration, Sutley was an EPA official, including being a special assistant to the EPA administrator in Washington.

    Obama has chosen much of his Cabinet, with the most prominent positions _ treasury, justice, state and defense _ already filled, and he is now turning to other posts. He is expected to officially name former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle as his secretary of health and human services as early as this week.

    Obama transition aides would not discuss appointments other than Sutley’s.

    But officials close to the transition team privately say that Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize winning physicist, appears to be increasingly on track to become energy secretary.

    A Chinese-American, Chu is a professor of physics and molecular and cell biology at the University of California-Berkeley and has been the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2004, where he has pushed aggressively for research into alternative energy as a way to combat global warming.

    It is the oldest of the Energy Department’s national laboratories, but does only unclassified work and in recent years under Chu has been at the center of research into biofuels and solar technologies. Chu has been a strong advocate for the need to engage scientists in the search for ways to combat global warming by replacing fossil fuels with other energy sources such as biofuels and the sun.

    These officials also say that former New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Lisa Jackson and Mary Nichols, who heads the California Air Resources Board, are in the running for the EPA administrator post. Both women worked at the EPA under Clinton EPA chief Carol Browner, who is leading the energy and environmental policy team for Obama’s transition.

    Browner, who ran the agency for 8 years, is expected to be named to a new position in the Obama White House overseeing energy, environment and climate matters. But officials say there was still some discussion over whether Browner would share her duties with Sutley or another adviser on energy and environmental matters.

  3. Herb W, vendig says:

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    I can get no government agency no politician none of the Obama energy team to answer an e-mail or a telephone call to publicize the most important solar invention since the panels themselves. If you truly care about advancing clean energy we need publication of information on this patent and funding. Scientists refuse to consider this huge breakthrough. Because it does not require their expertise and they cannot take credit for it. It is already here ready to manufacture this patent was developed by Herb W. Vendig and engineered by northern Illinois University Department of engineering this is the most significant invention of the decade. I saw Leon Panetta on Larry King last night. Touting the national grid.
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    I fully expect to be totally ignored as usual but as I keep records of hundreds of appeals to politicians, sources of government grants that have ignored the most significant source of free energy at the lowest cost that exists worldwide. I will add the Center for American progress.
    In the event anyone in your organization is truly interested my name is Herb W. Vendig telephone number 847-466-2221 you were appealing for a job opening you had to bring clean source of energy to the American economy. I am also an expert in ethanol production from cellulose, have the most effective plan producing 10% of America’s electricity from coal firing electric plants with 100, million times of urban wood waste.
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