Obama’s energy and climate advisors
Greenwire ($ub. req’d) has published a detailed list of who is advising Obama on energy and environment policies, which I am reprinting below the fold.
Obama, an Illinois Democrat, has a notably deep bench of experts to help him answer key questions on energy prices, oil drilling and global warming
I know most of them well, and they are A-listers with deep experience in and out of government. During the Clinton administration, I had the pleasure to work with both Elgie Holstein and David Sandalow. If they are indicative of the kind of people Obama would appoint, then his administration would get off to a running start.
I would also point out that they left out Obama’s national co-chair and energy surrogate, my former boss at the Department of Energy, Federico Peña, who is one of the finest public servants I know.
(And no, I am definitely not angling for a job. There aren’t that many great energy/climate positions in any administration, and they are all burnout jobs. I can’t imagine any position I would be offered that I would be interested in.)
“They’ve been out of power for seven years,” said Jeff Holmstead, a Republican energy lawyer who served from 2001-05 as President Bush’s top EPA air pollution official. “You have people who care about these issues and want to be involved.”
Here is Obama’s team:
|Jason Grumet has been running the campaign’s weekly conference calls from Washington among more than 100 energy and environmental advisers. (Click here to watch Grumet talk during an April 2008 panel discussion on climate policy.) Grumet, 41, has worked since 2001 for nonprofit groups trying to build consensus on energy issues among Democrats, Republicans, industry, and environmentalists.
As executive director of the National Commission on Energy Policy, Grumet organized a panel of 20 energy experts who offered recommendations on everything from automobile fuel-efficiency standards to global warming. The group’s cap-and-trade proposal included a “safety-valve” that would limit the price of carbon dioxide emissions, an idea that won support from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.).
Most recently, Grumet founded the Bipartisan Policy Center with former Senate majority leaders Howard Baker (R-Tenn.), Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and George Mitchell (D-Maine). Staff at the center includes former aides to the senators.
Grumet previously represented Northeastern governors on environmental issues as executive director of the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management.
He met Obama in 2005 during talks over changing the corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standard. His plans for working in an Obama administration? Grumet said in an April interview that he was not interested right now because he has three children who are younger than five.
“I think of myself as a second-term Obama guy,” he said.
Grumet has a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a law degree from Harvard University.
|Heather Zichal directs Obama’s energy, environment and agriculture policy team in the campaign’s Chicago headquarters. Zichal, 32, had a similar portfolio in the 2004 presidential campaign of Democrat John Kerry. After the 2004 elections, she became Kerry’s legislative director, coordinating all domestic and foreign policy for the Massachusetts senator.
She also worked in 2001 and 2002 as legislative director to Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.). Zichal is a graduate of Rutgers University.
|Elgie Holstein, a senior energy adviser to the campaign, is a Clinton administration veteran. Holstein, 58, was a senior adviser to Commerce Secretary William Daley, chief of staff to Energy Secretary Federico PeÃ±a, the associate environmental director at the Office of Management and Budget, and a special White House assistant for economic policy on the National Economic Council.
Clinton also gave Holstein a recess appointment for the final three weeks of his administration, allowing him to serve as assistant secretary for oceans and atmosphere at the Commerce Department.
During the Bush administration, Holstein advised the Progressive Policy Institute and handled federal work-force development programs at Vienna, Va.-based Resource Consultants Inc.
|Julie Anderson, another Clinton administration veteran, works alongside Grumet as vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center. She has also managed the climate change campaign at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Anderson served in the Clinton White House as special assistant for legislative affairs on energy and environmental issues. At U.S. EPA, Anderson was the acting associate administrator for congressional and legislative affairs.
She has a law degree from George Washington University and a bachelor’s from Ohio University.
|Howard Learner, 53, has known Obama and his wife Michelle since the early 1990s when Obama was finishing law school at Harvard. “These were clearly extraordinarily talented people who were destined to do very important things,” Learner said in an interview. At the time, Learner was general counsel at Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, a Chicago-based law and policy center.
Learner worked on Obama’s 1996 campaign for the Illinois Senate and in his 2004 race for the U.S. Senate.
Learner is now executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, a top Midwestern environmental legal advocacy group that has been a key player in setting up the region’s cap-and-trade program for global warming. He also has handled other contentious air pollution issues, including the Bush administration’s mercury rule for power plants and Clinton-era enforcement cases against coal-fired electric utilities.
He has a law degree from Harvard and a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Michigan.
|Frank Loy advises Obama on foreign policy and global warming issues. Loy represented the United States in United Nations climate negotiations in 2000, the final meeting before the Bush administration took over. Loy, 79, was undersecretary of state for global affairs from 1998 until 2001. It was his third State Department post, having served previously in the Carter and Johnson administrations.
From 1981 to 1995, Loy was president of The German Marshall Fund of the United States. In the private sector, Loy was a senior vice president for international affairs at Pan American Airlines, and he practiced corporate law in the Los Angeles offices of O’Melveny & Myers.
Loy also has served on the boards of several nonprofits, including the Environmental Defense Fund, the League of Conservation Voters, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and Resources for the Future.
He has a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and law degree from Harvard.
|Eric Washburn, a colleague of Grumet’s, is legislative counsel at the Bipartisan Policy Center. From 2001 to 2003, Washburn served as senior policy adviser to Daschle, playing a role in the Senate’s passage of the Energy Policy Act. Washburn was staff director of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee under Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). He earlier had served in Daschle’s personal office as legislative director.
Washburn has also been a consultant to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Natural Resources Council of Maine and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment.
|Denis McDonough, one of Obama’s closest foreign policy advisers, represented the campaign on climate issues during a May 2007 forum hosted by the Brookings Institution. There, he said global warming would receive top billing in all quarters of an Obama administration, including in funding of renewable energy projects through the Export-Import Bank. McDonough previously was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. On Capitol Hill, he worked as legislative director for Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) and as foreign policy adviser to Daschle. His foreign policy experience also includes work with the German Parliament, or Bundestag, as a fellow with the Robert Bosch Foundation and as a professional staff member for the Democrats on the House International Relations Committee.
He has a master’s degree from Georgetown University and an undergraduate degree from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.
| Dan Kammen, a senior energy and environmental aide to the campaign, has been an Obama surrogate at a number of events in California, Texas and Oregon — including a debate with former California Secretary of State Bill Jones, McCain’s California campaign director.
Kammen, 46, is an energy professor at the University of California, Berkeley, founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory and co-director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment. He was coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore last year.
Kammen has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University, with graduate and doctorate degrees from Harvard. He said he was introduced to Obama on the basketball court while both were students at Harvard.
|Kevin Knobloch, Boston-based president of the Union of Concerned Scientists since 2003, was legislative director to former Sen. Tim Wirth (D-Colo.) and legislative assistant and press secretary for the late Rep. Ted Weiss (D-N.Y.). Knobloch is also on the board of the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) and the Environmental League of Massachusetts. He has a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Click here to watch Knobloch’s appearance on E&ETV’s OnPoint.
|Robert Sussman, former EPA deputy administrator during the first two years of the Clinton administration, retired this year after a decade running Latham & Watkins’ environmental practice in Washington. Sussman, 61, is on the board of directors of the Environmental Law Institute. He is also a senior fellow with the liberal Center for American Progress.
He is a graduate of Yale and Yale Law School.
|Dan Esty, is an environmental law and policy professor at Yale University, who works for the campaign in New Haven, Conn. In Washington, Esty, 49, held several positions at EPA, including special assistant to then Administrator William Reilly, deputy chief of staff and deputy assistant administrator for policy.
Esty also worked on the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments and helped negotiate several international treaties, including the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and environmental provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
|Todd Atkinson, Obama’s environmental legislative adviser in the Senate, worked with him during a two-year stint on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He also has worked with Obama on the 2005 highway bill and on legislation requiring owners of nuclear power plants to notify authorities immediately of radiation leaks. Atkinson, 41, has worked in the Senate for 18 years with Illinois Sens. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.) and Alan Dixon (D-Ill.). He is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s business school.|
|Karen Bridges, 37, a former legislative counsel to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on energy, environment and judiciary issues, is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Law.|
|David Sandalow, 51, senior fellow and energy and environment scholar at the Brookings Institution, served as a senior director of the White House National Security Council during the Clinton administration. He also was an assistant secretary of the State Department for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs. He is the author of “Freedom from Oil,” which describes the creation of a presidential speech on energy. He is a former EPA attorney in the Office of General Counsel and former executive vice president of the World Wildlife Fund.
Sandalow is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and Yale College.
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