Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama's Cabinet Picks: Energy Secretary

Obama's Cabinet Energy SecretaryWith the possible exception of Redskins-Monday-Morning-Quarterbacking and the Veep stakes, few DC parlor games attract more interest than guessing who will fill a new president's cabinet. Towards that end, we'll be feeding the frenzy (chumming the waters?) these next few weeks by passing along pundit speculation; paying special attention to the position of Energy Secretary. From a Washington Post online chat earlier today, Energy Wire's Steve Mufson weighed in.

At the Energy Department, a lot of people have mentioned to me Gov. Ed Rendell from Pennsylvania. I’m not sure why he would want to do that, but there it is. The department mostly handles nuclear weapons and waste issues. The energy policy bit is smaller and largely about setting appliance standards. One new task it will have: Promoting carbon capture and storage so that coal plants won’t emit huge amounts of greenhouse gases. That might create a desire for an expert in that area to be deputy secretary, maybe someone like Ernie Moniz at MIT. Skill in helping negotiate cap and trade might be a plus.

Another possibility might be a national security type or Republican businessman. Retired Gen. David Jones has done a lot of work with the Chamber of Commerce promoting energy plans. [Edit: Mufson likely was referring to Retired Gen. James Jones.] FedEx ceo Fred Smith has also been active on energy issues.

Some members of Congress might also be interested. A possibility is Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) who has written a book on energy policy. But I'm not sure what that would mean for his seat.
Click here for more NNN coverage on who will be in the Obama Cabinet.

8 comments:

KB said...

Fred Smith is an interesting name on this speculative list. (And, no, I'm not just saying that because a colleague posted about him here last week.)

Charles Barton said...

Huffington post is touting Dan Reicher as the Obama Energy Secretary. Reicher, a former anti-nuclear activist, would be a truly horrifying choice. Reicher is associated with the Google Energy Plan.

Red Craig said...

Jay Inslee is rabidly anti-nuclear. He talks as if all his knowledge came from Greenpeace. It means that what little he knows is wrong.

Matthew66 said...

ABC news this morning was suggesting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. might be offered Environment Secretary. I shudder to think how that might end up.

Charles Barton said...

If you collected all of the crazy people whose names are being bandied about as Obama's Energy Secretary, you would have enough patients to start an asylum. I don't think that Barak Obama is going to turn the Department of Energy into a madhouse.

Anonymous said...

If Obama picks an anti-nuke for Secretary of Energy or for the EPA he'll end up being a one-term president just like Jimmy Carter.

am19 said...

President-elect Obama believes in the non-traditional approach to achieve the "change we need". So rather than Gore, Schwarzenegger or the other Gov's, here's an unlikely, but very appropriate non-traditional approach for Energy Secretary under President Obama: Andrew Liveris, current CEO of the Dow Chemical Company. He's been out preaching abut the need for a truly comprehensive energy policy in the U.S. for a long while now, most recently at the coveted podium of the Detroit Economic Club. Every time he speaks, he's told he should be running for public office. Given his company is hugely connected to the energy sector and he is vastly knowledgeable of all things energy on a global basis, this non-traditional choice makes a lot of sense. And Liveris believes everything should be on the table, especially nuclear.

steve singal said...

If NM Governor Bill Richardson is not selected to be Secretary of State by President-Elect Obama he should be drafted for Energy Secretary position. He served in that position inthe Clinton era and came with experience in energy field since two premior national labs (Los Alamos and Sandia)and the Defense Nuclear Waste Repository (WIPP) are located in NM. He supports all forms of energy production incl uding nuclear energy. DOE employees such as myself loved him because he came to Germantown and held many all hands meetings to answer employee questions.