Skip to main content

Obama's Cabinet Picks: Energy Secretary

Obama's Cabinet Energy SecretaryThe parlor game of cabinet speculation continues...

The Houston Chronicle lobbies for their hometown Mayor.
The next secretary of energy needs expert understanding of the fossil fuel industry — without being owned by it or wedded to its dominance. This official must shepherd America from dependence on oil, and toward alternatives, without crippling the economy.

As mayor of the nation's conventional and alternative energy capital, Houston Mayor Bill White is uniquely qualified for this post. He has the executive experience, having served as deputy energy secretary for President Bill Clinton; he is also a warrior against pollution and environmental depredation, who was nevertheless backed by Houston's energy industry and has long worked on guiding Houston's economy to greater diversity.

The Politico is reporting that former eBay SVP, Steve Westly, is "emerging as a strong dark horse candidate for energy secretary."
Westly co-chaired Cleantech and Green Business for Obama, a constituency group of green techies, along with former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and former Clinton Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner.

Westly ran for governor in California two years ago, but lost in the Democratic primary to state Treasurer Phil Angelides.
Washington Post reporter Steve Mufson offers up Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers,
If Obama wants a business executive who isn't necessarily a Republican, he could consider any number of interesting utility executives because quite a few of them are very forward-looking about greenhouse gas emissions and upgrading the nation's anachronistic electricity grid. Again, I haven't heard any names but one possibility I think might be Jim Rogers, the ceo of Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy. He would be interested in promoting a smart grid (useful in accomodating electric cars and facilitating conservation) and carbon capture and storage. He also supports new nuclear power plants. A former partner at Akin Gump, he knows his way around Washington.
On the Today show this morning, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm artfully dodged the question about accepting the cabinet position.
Well, let me just say that as governor of Michigan I feel like I can be a tremendous partner here on the ground in Michigan. He’s going to need governors across the country to carry out his plans and I would be honored to be a partner.
Over at Cleantech Blog, Neal Dikeman casts a vote for Daniel Yergin.
Pulitzer prize winning author of The Prize, the seminal work on the history of the oil industry, and Chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates. The energy sector is going to take a serious thinker to overhaul. The last thing we need is a johnny come lately with a shiny copper penny plan. Yergin knows the business, knows the politics, and knows the people.
What are the priorities for the next Energy Secretary? The New York Times asked energy experts that question in a roundtable last week. Here's Roger Ballentine, former Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force during the Clinton Administration:
The combination of linking climate and energy policy, along with an industrial policy (yes, we need to say this) aimed at creating green industry in the United States will mean a much larger role for renewable energy. But we can’t ask renewables to do it all, which is why a truly transformational energy policy will mean more renewables AND an emphasis on efficiency, more efficient fossil fuel use and nuclear.
Click here for more NNN coverage on who will be in the Obama Cabinet.

Comments

carol said…
Being born in Canada, can Granholm still accept a cabinet position?
D. Kosloff said…
Yes.
carol said…
Thanks, d. kosloff. I have to believe that with Granholm's unfavorable ratings with voters in Michigan, she would jump at the chance to join the administration.
alex y. said…
Given the governor's poor ratings and the economic crisis in this state, I would say the best thing Granholm could do for Michigan Democrats would be to vacate the statehouse. We voted her back in 2006 with the expectation that the economic situation was going to improve soon. Since it seems unlikely that things are going to turn around by 2010 when she runs for re-election (thus making the odds of her being re-elected nearly zero), she might as well take a cabinet post and open up the Democratic primary field to someone who has a chance in two years. If anything, leaving and giving Lt. Gov. John Cherry the incumbent's advantage in 2010 might be the best way to help the Dems' chances at the governorship.
Anonymous 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, an unlikely, but very appropriate non-traditional approach for Energy Secretary: Andrew Liveris, current CEO of the Dow Chemical Company (Fortune 50 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.

The keynote address: http://news.dow.com/dow_news/speeches/20061030_liveris.pdf ...

I am convinced that his message far exceededs all others. His is relevant, practical and comprehensive.
Matthew66 said…
If Granholm is appointed to the cabinet, she would not be in the order of succession to the presidency. The current secretaries of Labor and Commerce are excluded from the succession because they are not natural born citizens. It's a bit like Prince Michael of Kent being excluded from the succession of the British Crown because he married a Catholic (Princess Michael, nee Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz).
Bob said…
Since it seems unlikely that things are going to turn around by 2010 when she runs for re-election

Granholm is termed out of office in 2010.

Popular posts from this blog

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…