The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
The White House announced on Jan. 25 that Carol Browner would leave her post as President Obama's top energy and climate adviser. Browner joined the White House staff when Obama took office in 2009 as assistant to the president for energy and climate change.
In that position since Obama took office in 2009, Browner has been a key White House proponent of emissions cap-and-trade legislation to combat climate change, which failed to clear Congress last year. Not subject to Senate confirmation, she attracted fire from congressional Republicans, who said she had inordinate power and was unaccountable to Congress.
With a new Republican majority in the House, the Administration has been under pressure to ease off on regulations. Obama also issued an executive order (No. 13,563) on Jan. 18 requiring federal agencies to review and revise existing environmental and other regulations to determine which ones can be eliminated or revised to spur economic growth.
While the effect of Browner’s departure on White House environmental and energy policy is unclear, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has pushed forward with climate change regulations on the agency level. As a result, most agencies have begun to implement policies on factors associated with mitigating climate change — including energy efficiency, fuel efficiency and sustainability. In addition, key regulatory components are on track to be implemented at the federal, regional, state and local level.