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Energy Edge

What John Podesta Means for Obama’s Climate Policies

December 10, 2013

What John Podesta Means for Obama's Climate Policies

President Obama's inner circle once again includes a prominent climate-change advocate with the White House return of John Podesta, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff and currently chair of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, to advise the president on health care and other issues, including global warming.

On the Keystone XL pipeline, Podesta's appointment is good news for environmentalists and bad news for Keystone's backers. He has long been a critic of this particular project and of oil-sands development more generally.


On the plus side for the energy industry, he has called for the U.S. to "utilize our dramatically larger and cheaper natural-gas reserves," despite calls from some environmentalists to stop using the cleaner-burning fossil fuel right away.

Above all, Podesta will bring a powerful West Wing voice to climate-change issues for the first time since Carol Browner, Obama's one-time energy and climate "czar," left almost three years ago.

Amy Harder


By Clare Foran (@ckmarie) and Ben Geman (@Ben_Geman)

PODESTA JOINS OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. Longtime Democratic strategist John Podesta is returning to the White House to serve as an adviser to the president on energy and climate change issues.

KEYSTONE BACKERS ALARMED BY PODESTA'S RETURN TO WHITE HOUSE. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., for one, is concerned the liberal activist will urge President Obama to reject the pipeline.

OBAMA'S AIR-POLLUTION REGULATIONS ON TRIAL. The Supreme Court and a lower court Tuesday reviewed challenges to two pillars of President Obama's first-term air-quality agenda.

PAC DEFENDS WEST VIRGINIA DEMOCRAT'S RECORD ON COAL. House Majority PAC is out with a new television spot saying "It's not true" that Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is against coal.

WIND POWER'S GROWTH BLOWN AWAY BY TAX UNCERTAINTY. Wind turbine installations slowed dramatically in the first half of 2013 due to uncertainty over extension of the production tax credit.

U.S., CHINA BRACE FOR INEVITABLE CLIMATE CHANGES. China and the U.S., the world's largest greenhouse-gas emitters, are both expanding their focus on adapting to climate change.

SOLAR ON PACE FOR 'RECORD-SHATTERING' YEAR. Solar-power developers are installing new projects at a record clip.

WINTER CHILL LEADS TO PROJECTED RISE IN GAS PRICES. Natural gas prices are expected to increase as Americans turn up their thermostats to fend off the cold this holiday season.

MEXICO CLOSE TO VOTE ON OVERHAUL OF ENERGY SECTOR. The Mexican Congress is slated to vote on a constitutional amendment that would spark private-sector and foreign investment in the previously sealed-off state oil and gas sector.


SENATE RFS HEARING. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the effectiveness of federal policies that implement the renewable-fuel standard program.

HOUSE CLIMATE HEARING. The House Science Subcommittee on Environment holds a hearing looking at the relationship between climate and weather.

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