Skip to main content

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.

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.

Popular posts from this blog

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 …

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…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…