White House Enviro Council Chairwoman Sutley Stepping Down

Nancy Sutley
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Ben Geman
Dec. 3, 2013, 10:51 a.m.

White House Coun­cil on En­vir­on­ment­al Qual­ity Chair­wo­man Nancy Sut­ley will step down in Feb­ru­ary, mark­ing the al­most com­plete turnover of Pres­id­ent Obama’s top en­vir­on­ment and en­ergy of­fi­cials.

Sut­ley, ap­poin­ted at the out­set of Obama’s pres­id­ency, has kept a lower polit­ic­al pro­file than some oth­er top of­fi­cials. But she played a cru­cial role in sev­er­al ma­jor ad­min­is­tra­tion policies, the White House said.

The White House has not yet named Sut­ley’s re­place­ment.

Obama, in a state­ment, thanked Sut­ley for her five years with the White House, call­ing her a vi­tal part of such policies as the second-term cli­mate agenda he rolled out in June.

“As one of my top ad­visers, Nancy has played a cent­ral role in over­see­ing many of our biggest en­vir­on­ment­al ac­com­plish­ments, in­clud­ing es­tab­lish­ing his­tor­ic new fuel-eco­nomy stand­ards that will save con­sumers money, new na­tion­al monu­ments that per­man­ently pro­tect sites unique to our coun­try’s rich his­tory and nat­ur­al her­it­age, our first com­pre­hens­ive Na­tion­al Ocean Policy, and our Cli­mate Ac­tion Plan that will help leave our chil­dren a safer, health­i­er plan­et,” he said.

Sut­ley is the latest long-serving en­vir­on­ment­al of­fi­cial to leave the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. Obama’s first-term En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency ad­min­is­trat­or, Lisa Jack­son, left early this year, and the second term has also brought new sec­ret­ar­ies of En­ergy and the In­teri­or.

More re­cently, top White House cli­mate and en­ergy aide Heath­er Zichal left in Novem­ber.

The Wash­ing­ton Post re­por­ted in Oc­to­ber that White House of­fi­cials, in an ef­fort to get Zichal to stick around, raised the pos­sib­il­ity of her tak­ing the CEQ job, but she de­clined.

Sut­ley’s next moves aren’t yet clear.

“She’s plan­ning to re­turn to her home in Los Angeles for a well-earned break be­fore pur­su­ing oth­er op­por­tun­it­ies in the en­vir­on­ment and en­ergy arena,” a CEQ aide said.

Sut­ley was deputy may­or for en­ergy and en­vir­on­ment in Los Angeles when Obama tapped her to run CEQ, an agency that plays a ma­jor role co­ordin­at­ing en­vir­on­ment­al policy among fed­er­al agen­cies.

Earli­er in her ca­reer, Sut­ley held jobs in­clud­ing en­ergy ad­viser to former Cali­for­nia Gov. Gray Dav­is and deputy sec­ret­ary for policy and in­ter­gov­ern­ment­al re­la­tions at the Cali­for­nia EPA from 1999-2003, ac­cord­ing to a White House bio.

She worked for EPA in the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion as a seni­or policy ad­viser to the re­gion­al ad­min­is­trat­or in San Fran­cisco and spe­cial as­sist­ant to then-EPA Ad­min­is­trat­or Car­ol Brown­er. Brown­er and Sut­ley would later re­unite in the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, where Brown­er served as Obama’s en­ergy and cli­mate czar be­fore de­part­ing in 2011.

Sut­ley has not had the pro­file of James Con­naughton, her George W. Bush-era pre­de­cessor at CEQ, who was the pub­lic point per­son for sev­er­al Bush ini­ti­at­ives.

In an in­ter­view, Brown­er called Sut­ley a team play­er and said she had a ma­jor hand in a num­ber of ini­ti­at­ives, in­clud­ing Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion ef­forts to make the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment it­self more en­vir­on­ment­ally sus­tain­able.

Obama is­sued an ex­ec­ut­ive or­der in 2009 re­quir­ing re­duc­tions in fed­er­al green­house-gas emis­sions, im­prove­ment in waste man­age­ment and re­cyc­ling, and oth­er steps to get green­er. The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has cut its green­house-gas emis­sions by more than 15 per­cent with these ini­ti­at­ives, the White House said.

Sut­ley played a vi­tal role in put­ting the plans in­to prac­tice, Brown­er said. “She really was the force be­hind … that and de­serves a huge amount of cred­it,” said Brown­er, who also ap­plauded Sut­ley’s work on na­tion­al-monu­ment des­ig­na­tions.

Obama also praised Sut­ley’s ef­forts to curb the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment’s en­vir­on­ment­al foot­print.

“Un­der her lead­er­ship, fed­er­al agen­cies are meet­ing the goals I set for them at the be­gin­ning of the ad­min­is­tra­tion by us­ing less en­ergy, re­du­cing pol­lu­tion, and sav­ing tax­pay­er dol­lars. Her ef­forts have made it clear that a healthy en­vir­on­ment and a strong eco­nomy aren’t mu­tu­ally ex­clus­ive — they can go hand in hand,” he said.

Ken Salaz­ar, Obama’s first-term In­teri­or Sec­ret­ary, cred­ited Sut­ley with ad­van­cing con­ser­va­tion through work on na­tion­al-monu­ment des­ig­na­tions and the mul­tia­gency “Amer­ica’s Great Out­doors” ini­ti­at­ive cre­ated in 2010.

“When his­tor­i­ans look back at her time at CEQ, they will be able to say she was very ef­fect­ive in in­form­ing and ad­van­cing the pres­id­ent’s con­ser­va­tion agenda,” he said in an in­ter­view.

“Nancy’s per­son­al­ity is that she is a work­horse, not a show horse, and she labored in the de­tail of things to get things done,” Salaz­ar said.

Amy Harder contributed to this article.
What We're Following See More »
“NOT HELPING AT ALL”
Trump Accuses Russia of Helping North Korea Evade Sanctions
22 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump said on Wednesday Russia is helping North Korea get supplies in violation of international sanctions and that Pyongyang is getting 'closer every day' to being able to deliver a long-range missile to the United States. 'Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea,' Trump said during an Oval Office interview with Reuters. 'What China is helping us with, Russia is denting. In other words, Russia is making up for some of what China is doing.'"

Source:
CALLS HIM “REPREHENSIBLE”
As Expected, Flake Lays Into Trump From Senate Floor
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Sen. Jeff Flake, one of the most prominent #NeverTrumpers in the Senate, made good on reports that he would deliver a blistering rebuke to President Trump from the Senate floor today. He called the president "reprehensible," and likened him to Stalin and Bashar al-Assad.

Source:
VIA SATELLITE
Trump Will Address March for Life This Weekend
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
LOCATION AND DATE UNKNOWN
Bannon Strikes Deal, Avoids Grand Jury Subpoena
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

Steve Bannon struck a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's team and will be interviewed by prosecutors instead of testifying before a grand jury. Sources expect him to talk openly to Mueller's team, and Bannon's attorney told the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that executive privilege would not apply to the conversations. When the FBI attempted to serve Bannon with a subpoena to appear before the grand jury last week, he referred agents to his attorney.

Source:
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY REMAINS SKEPTICAL OF TALKS
North and South Korea to March Under Single Flag at Olympics
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"North and South Korean athletes will march together at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony under a unified flag," in a diplomatic breakthrough following days of talks between the two countries at the demilitarized zone. The two nations will also field a joint women's ice hockey team, skiers will train together at a resort in North Korea before the Olympics start, and performers from the two countries will hold a joint cultural event. North Korea will also send around 230 supporters to Pyeongchang to cheer on its athletes.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login