This post has been updated at the bottom with news that Podesta will recuse himself from the Keystone XL decision.
President Obama is getting a new high-level adviser who cares a lot about climate change and doesn't care much at all for the Keystone XL pipeline.
John Podesta is no stranger to the White House; he served as chief of staff to President Clinton. And he's no stranger to the Obama team; he led the president's transition into office after the 2008 election. Since then, he's served as an "outside adviser," The New York Times reports, and "has occasionally criticized the administration, if gently, from his perch as the founder and former president of the Center for American Progress, a center-left public policy research group that has provided personnel and policy ideas to the administration."
For the coming year, he'll be advising from the inside. He will help out on health care and "will focus in particular on climate change issues, a personal priority of Mr. Podesta’s," according to the Times. Podesta is expected to encourage Obama to take action through his executive authority, as Congress is unwilling and unable to pass legislation on climate change or much else. "Podesta has been urging Obama for three years to use the full extent of his authority as president to go around Congress," Politico reports.
Podesta is also an outspoken opponent of Keystone, and his move to the White House is making some Keystone boosters nervous, National Journal reports.