Former Environmental Protection Agency chief Carol Browner will take on a new position coordinating White House policy on energy, climate and environmental issues.
I have been receiving a continuous flow of emails from environmental organizations with their recommendations to President-Elect Obama for our future energy sources, and for the environment. These include such admirable concepts as "cap & trade," using the Big 3 Buyout (from the Sierra Club) to get them to build more environmentally friendly vehicles, supporting solar, wind and geothermal in a big way as part of the economic incentives package.
But even before the new government works on cap & trade and other energy issues, Obama has to select an Energy Secretary. This person must believe whole-heartedly in this kind of change. He must not just be green-washing a life of dirty coal, destruction of homelands and habitats, as the coal industry and the power companies that use coal currently are doing. He must not be professing that "clean-coal" is just around the corner (because it's not!) or believe that our real low CO2 future lies with nuclear.
We have to do everything we can to make sure Mr. Obama picks the right person. So far he is not on the right track. Unfortunately, according to Al Kamen in the Washington Post, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers is on his short list, Next on Obama's Dance Card, Mother Nature. Kamen says that a decision could be announced this week, so we have to be fast.
According to an email I received this week from a Teri Blanton, who lives in Kentucky, but has managed to escape her Harlan County childhood home (who told me she "shuddered" when she read this):Rogers would not be "change we can believe in". As head of one of the largest U.S. power companies, Rogers' idea of change is finding creative ways to "green-wash" while building coal and nuclear plants and limiting energy efficiency and renewables. Environmental and consumer groups in states where Duke operates have been challenging Rogers' actions, which grossly contradict his PR-crafted image as a visionary concerned about climate change.Please contact all the environmental organizations you can think of, asking them to work together to create a short-list of visionary and acceptable people for this job. The new Secretary must not have any connections to the currect power, nuclear, oil or coal industries! We've been there, done that, and it's been a catastrophe!
Here are some more links about Rogers:
- Duke Energy CEO: Coal not going away CNET April 13, 2008
- A Green Coal Baron? fromt he NYT June 22, 2008
- Rogers and Me, An interview with Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, by Amanda Griscom Little on Grist 04 Apr 2007
- Duke Energy CEO Rogers Calls For "Paradigm Shift" to Realize Full Potential of Energy Efficiency Edison Electric Institute February 12, 2007
The email I received recommended emailing comments through the Obama website: http://change.gov/page/content/contact/ which I have already done. Please do so as well!
This is one of 4 blog entries I've written today on environmental issues. Please read all of them!