Saturday, March 09, 2013

White House Meets With Climate/Energy Stakeholders

The White House with more than a dozen energy experts and industry officials last Thursday.  President Obama has pledged to focus aggressively on climate change and green energy in his second term and wield his executive powers to act on global warming in the face of congressional gridlock.

During the meeting, the President reiterated his commitment to a cleaner and more secure energy future. The discussion covered a variety of topics including the important role of natural gas in our domestic energy portfolio, new opportunities for renewables like wind, solar and advanced biofuels, the importance of clean energy research and development, as well as the promise and potential of increased energy efficiency in our homes and businesses.

Some of the 14 participants Thursday included:

Anadarko Petroleum Chairman Jim Hackett,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Jackson,
Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson and
NextEra Energy Inc. Executive Chairman Lewis Hay
Southwest Gas chief executive Jeffrey Shaw
Harvard University law professor and regulation expert Cass Sunstein
FedEx chairman Fred Smith

White House aides at the meeting included:

Heather Zichal, the top adviser to Obama on energy,
John Holdren, who is the president’s top science adviser, and
Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz.
Josh Earnest, special assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary

President Obama solicited ideas on a wide variety of energy and climate issues in the Thursday meeting. Topics included steps to promote energy efficiency, how to modernize the nation’s electrical grid to make it more resilient and “green,” as well as the need for more information about leakage of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from hydraulic fracturing of shale gas. The topics of discussion were consistent with issues Obama mentioned in his inaugural and State of the Union speeches.  (The Hill, 3/8/2013, Wash Post, 3/8/2013)

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