A Pro-Energy National Security Advisor

By December 2, 2008Energy, Global Warming

The Los Angeles Times reports on President-elect Obama’s selection of James L. Jones to be his National Security Advisor, “James L. Jones’ energy views worry some environmentalists“:

Reporting from Washington — When President-elect Barack Obama introduced James L. Jones Jr. as his national security advisor Monday, he emphasized the retired Marine general’s understanding of “the connection between energy and national security.”

Obama sees that as a plus, but some environmental groups and global warming activists view Jones’ environmental record with suspicion.

Jones will not be responsible for environmental policy, but he has said energy is a vital national security issue. It affects domestic economic stability and international geopolitical relationships, particularly in the oil-rich Middle East.

Jones sits on the board of Chevron Corp., and since March 2007 has been president and chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, which has been criticized by environmental groups.

“They have a reprehensible record,” said Frank O’Donnell, the outspoken leader of Clean Air Watch, of the institute led by Jones.

Not to be too glib about this, but if the grim radical, Frank O’Donnell, is angry, chances are the appointment is a good one.

Politico writes on the same topic, “Jones gives hope to energy companies.”

While it’s splendid news that a man who understands manufacturing, energy and the global economy will be advising the president, odds are environmental and energy policy will not be part of Jones’ policy portfolio. The other environmental activists quoted in the L.A. Times are story are also unhappy, if more diplomatically so, and they make it clear that global warming is the matter of faith on which no disagreement is acceptable. Despite Jones’ selection, the coming Obama administration seems to be aligned with the anti-growth greens on that topic. (See the L.A. Times report, “Obama’s video message energizes climate conference.”

UPDATE (1:15 p.m.): WSJ’s Environmental Capital blog has more, “Team Obama: New National Security Adviser, Jim Jones, Puts Energy First“:

Gen. Jones is the president and chief executive of the Institute for 21st Century Energy, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In November, the Institute offered Mr. Obama a roadmap for bolstering U.S. energy security as a key component of increasing its national security. (Our colleagues at Washington Wire have more on the national security team announcement.)

The Institute’s business-friendly approach advocates more of everything—more domestic oil and gas, more nuclear power, more coal, more renewable energy, and above all, for the federal government to cut through regulatory thickets that have hamstrung U.S. energy modernization in recent years. The key message from the Institute’s transition plan is that U.S. economic and security interests have suffered due to the lack of a comprehensive national energy plan that addresses how we can get more energy and how we can use less.

In broad strokes, that’s the NAM’s comprehensive energy plan as well.

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