Clean Energy Economy Forum

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 07 Oct 2009 13:30:00 GMT

On Wednesday, October 7, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will be joined by Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner and other top Administration officials in hosting a Clean Energy Economy Forum at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with business leaders from around the country. The Administration officials will reiterate the need for a comprehensive energy plan that puts America back in control of its energy future and breaks a dependence on oil that threatens our economy, our environment, and our national security. They will also have the opportunity to answer questions from and get the perspective of business leaders who have first-hand experience creating jobs while contributing to American energy independence.

Clean Power: Building a New Clean Energy Economy

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 13 Apr 2009 14:00:00 GMT

Chairman Edward J. Markey will host President Obama’s top climate, energy and science advisers along with other energy experts at a forum at MIT on Monday, April 13 to discuss the future of clean energy in national policy and in the Massachusetts economy. They will discuss clean energy solutions for creating jobs, improving our national security and protecting our planet from global warming. Last week, Rep. Markey released draft legislation that will be the main congressional vehicle to push clean energy technologies and create millions of new jobs.

  • Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Malden), Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and Energy and Environment Subcommittee
  • Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change
  • John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
  • Ernest J. Moniz, Professor of Physics and Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor, MIT
  • Dr. Susan Hockfield, President, MIT
  • Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates
  • Massachusetts clean energy CEOs and others

Wong Auditorium, Tang Center, Building E51, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Live webcast.

Can Carol Browner Help Obama Achieve His 'Promise of Energy Transformation'?

Posted by Wonk Room Mon, 02 Feb 2009 19:49:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

National Journal: Carol BrownerThe influential Washington publication National Journal has dedicated its cover story to Carol Browner, President Obama’s incoming climate and energy adviser. The EPA administrator under President Clinton and a former board member of the Center for American Progress, Browner is a leading voice in progressive environmental policy. As former transition chief and current CAP president John Podesta explains, Browner’s selection reflects President Obama’s goal to change business in Washington:

If people want to continue in practices that were more appropriate in the 1950s than today, then I think that they’re going to have to understand that Obama campaigned on a promise of energy transformation. And he intends to fulfill it.

Obama’s ambitious campaign goals include five million green-collar jobs, “the implementation of an economy-wide cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary,” and a “whole new electricity grid.” With less than two weeks in office, his administration has already made major commitments toward the creation of a smart grid and the green collar jobs in the economic recovery package. The focus of the first meeting of Vice President Joe Biden’s middle-class task force will be green jobs. And Obama has signed directives to the EPA to begin the process of complying with the Supreme Court mandate to regulate greenhouse gases—hopefully spurring Congressional action to develop a cap and trade system.

Just as critically, Obama has already put in place a powerful team with the likes of Browner, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, Council of Environmental Quality head Nancy Sutley, and top scientists Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, NOAA Director Jane Lubchenco, and White House science adviser John Holdren. These experts on climate policy will have to work with the other members of Obama’s Cabinet to achieve that “promise of energy transformation.”

And that’s where Browner comes in. One “industry lobbyist” who is wary of Browner described her in ways that make her sound remarkably like Dick Cheney, who controlled energy policy across agency lines in the previous administration:
Browner is the epitome of how to work this city. She knows every organization. She knows who to leak information to. She knows how to kill information, and she knows that she doesn’t want a paper trail. That is frightening.
It remains to be seen how Browner will operate, but time will tell if anonymous industry lobbyists’ fears are more accurate than Obama’s promises of transparency, accountability, and change. What the lobbyists more likely fear is that environmental policy will become effective and science-based. As Podesta explained, Carol Browner will fill a crucial role in the Obama administration:
When you have problems that really cut across a swath of agencies, it’s very important to have a strong central place within the White House where people can work on the same strategy and [make sure] that actions are keyed up and accountability exists. That has proven to be an effective way of doing business in the federal government on security policy, on economic policy. And now we’ll see it on environmental policy.