Perhaps the Bureaucratic Friction Will Produce Clean Energy

By December 10, 2008Energy, Global Warming

From Bloomberg, “Carol Browner Set to Be Obama’s Energy Coordinator

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) — President-elect Barack Obama is in the final stages of putting together his energy team, with former Environmental Protection Agency chief Carol Browner as his likely pick for a newly created position overseeing energy, climate and environmental issues, Democratic aides said.

Nancy Sutley, an energy official for the city of Los Angeles, is Obama’s choice to head his White House Council on Environmental Quality, according to the aides.

Reuters:

Obama will also nominate Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as his energy secretary, a Democratic Party official said….

Chu shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics and is a former chairman of the physics department at Stanford University in California and head of the electronics research laboratory at Bell Labs.

First reaction: Classic inside-outside game. Chu, with his stellar reputation and record of accomplishments, will handle the image and PR side of the Administration’s energy push. Browner, the regulator and political infighter, will be responsible for managing the internal disputes, imposing discipline, pushing the regulatory, legislative and policy agenda. Smart politics. Hard to see how the combination will improve U.S. competitiveness, but it’s an effective political strategy for achieving one’s goals.

Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute sees the appointments as rewarding the left.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • David Moelling says:

    Browner will really be angling for her old job at EPA. DOE has always been about full funding for the national labs. Chu knows this and his first priority will be to generate programs for the labs. Now the big science labs (Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, Livermore, Argonne) will need a heavy nuclear and physics feeding, while the Carter Era alternative energy labes in Boulder are little. Expect little change and more pork.

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