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January 25, 2011

Carol Browner Announces Exit

The news broke last night that Carol Browner, President Obama's top energy and environment adviser, is leaving the White House. She was heavily involved in the repeated attempts to push climate and energy legislation through Congress during Obama's first two years as president. For climate and energy wonks, this piece of news raises eyebrows.

"Carol is confident that the mission of her office will remain critical to the president, and she is pleased with what will be in the [State of the Union address] and in the budget [next month] on clean energy," one White House aide told Politico. "The president's commitment to these issues will of course continue but any transition of the office will be announced soon."

The Washington Post's 44 blog writes, "Her departure comes as something of a surprise. Browner had been a key part of the team helping to deal with and stop the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year." Amid the roundup of reaction on the Browner announcement, Politico had this quote from climate-denier-in-chief Sen. James Inhofe: "I would say that I'm happy to see her leave only because she was so effective in advancing her side. Given her considerable knowledge and experience in navigating the bureaucracy, she will be irreplaceable. In the spirit of unity, I wish her all the best."

All eyes are on the president tonight. There's much hope he will talk in depth about the country's ongoing energy problems. Read Michael Brune's most recent blog article about the complementary relationship of clean energy and jobs.

-- Brian Foley

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