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Posted at 9:07 PM ET, 01/24/2011

Carol Browner to quit Obama administration

By Anne E. Kornblut and Steven Mufson

Updated 10:17 p.m.

Carol Browner, an key adviser to President Obama on energy and environmental issues, said Monday night that she plans to leave the White House.

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.

And she had been deeply involved in congressional negotiations over climate legislation. The measure passed the House last year but died in the Senate, and given the current makeup of Congress, its prospects of coming up for a vote are widely seen as nil. President Obama is instead expected to seek common ground with Republicans over ways to promote the burning of natural gas, rather than coal, by utilities with aging coal plants.

The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for eight years under President Bill Clinton, Browner had been suggested as a candidate for another post in the Obama White House -- perhaps as deputy chief of staff.

Browner said Monday night that there was "no back story -- it was just time to go." She said she felt "honored to have a second ... chance to serve."

Advisers described Browner as an integral voice in internal discussions, the rare outsider to join the upper ranks of Obama's staff. The Florida native's departure comes at a time when many industrial and mining companies, and as Republicans -- and a few Democrats -- are vowing to block the EPA from implementing new regulations on large generators of greenhouse gases.

Environmentalists regarded her as a key liaison to the West Wing, and her leaving is certain to add to the anxiety of many on the political left already nervous about Obama's outreach to industry.

Obama last week announced an administration-wide review of regulations that he said could be harming the country's economic recovery. Some environmentalists are worried he will not stand up to businesses trying to roll back new curbs on greenhouse gas emissions enacted by the EPA.

Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, a group with close ties to the White House, called Browner a "tenacious advocate on our issues" who would be "sorely missed."

Her position, assistant to the president for energy and climate change, was created by Obama. Whether the president replaces her, and with whom, will be closely watched by environmentalists and industry advocates alike.

"While it's not clear what will happen to that position, we certainly hope they retain another strong, articulate voice," Karpinski said.

Scott Segal, an energy expert at the law and lobbying firm Bracewell & Giuliani, welcomed her leaving. "Carol Browner was a passionate contributor to a strong White House commitment to environmental policy," Segal said. "Her departure may be part of a legitimate effort to pay careful attention to addressing some of the real regulatory obstacles in the way of job creation in the United States." Bracewell & Giuliani has been retained by many of the nation's biggest coal mining, utility and oil refining companies.

In 2001, after leaving the EPA, Browner had worked for the Albright Group. A lawyer, she has also previously served on boards, and it is likely she could do something similar again, people close to her said. But she has no firm plans, one said.

Her plans to leave the administration were first reported by Politico.

Staff writer Peter Wallsten contributed to this report.

By Anne E. Kornblut and Steven Mufson  | January 24, 2011; 9:07 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Browner was, and is, a zealot, leaving economic and environmental wreckage everywhere in her trail.
She'll be missed by her fellow Green extremists, but not by the rest of America. Happy travels, sweets.

Posted by: daskinner | January 25, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"...No back story."??

There is a MONUMENTAL back story, the so-called global warming crisis is on the verge of total collapse! Not only are skeptic scientists wiping out the underlying science assessments of the IPCC, there is a similar if not larger credibility problem with accusations of corruption against those scientists. The shaky accusation itself is seen in Al Gore's movie AND in the giant global warming court cases: "Global Warming Nuisance Lawsuits Are Based on a Fatal Flaw" http://biggovernment.com/rcook/2010/11/27/global-warming-nuisance-lawsuits-are-based-on-a-fatal-flaw/

If it turns out the skeptic scientists could have been whistle blowers on this whole crisis a decade ago, then we have malfeasance by the mainstream media of EPIC proportions.

Posted by: RoaldA | January 25, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I think it important to look at President Obama's appointee persons in context of their whole, and not slice and dice the part of them we disagree with and then try to convice everyone else. That our rearranged person is the true whole person we have thus portrait them to be. Ms. Browner's actions and performances in the Gulf Oil spill placed her in image position before the general voter public. As a person with entrenched ideolog life mission purpose. Perhaps unfair but that was the image done to her and thus to President Obama. If President Obama is truly going to abandon his hell bent march to transform America into a form of Euro socialist nation. He cannot move to the "middle" weighted down with advisors such as Ms. Browner. He needs to shed himself of the 70 or so "czars", all with extreme Left activist credentials. He needs to reexamine his 15 of so cabinet and regulatory agency appointees. To ensure that they make a first and immediate strong impression that they are middle of the road moderates. He will be unable to convince majority of America (which is slight center right). That his actions of past were because of "emergency" situations facing him, and now these behind him. He will take a more truthful moderate and middle road approach in his actions. Make no mistake of ego on part of the liberal news media or all those throng of Left herd people out there. The count down of making a new impression about Mr. Obama in the mind view of America starts tonight with his State of Union. It continues its clock ticking over the period of the next 90 - 120 days when we see how Democrats in Congress and all the multitude of Left political talking heads and news media in general. Is going to react and carry out actions which support and attempt to solidfy this "New Obama". Somewhere around 121 days from now we will know Obama mission success or failure. If he will have failed. We can then begin our speculations as to whom will be our next President because it will not be Mr. Obama.

Posted by: jhnpeppers | January 25, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

What moron would put a person like Browner over Energy & Climate when she has ZERO, ZIP, NADA, education in either subject?

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 25, 2011 8:18 AM
*********

Right! All she had done til Obama appointed her was.. let's see... oh yes... she served as legal counsel to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Oh and something about being a senior staffer to two very senior US senators both known for their commitment to energy and environmental policy.

Then a stint as Florida secretary (ha! a secretary!) of environmental regulation, then as the longest serving EPA director.

Yup... She's totally unqualified to be an advisor to the President on the environment. He could have at least tried to get a Commissioner from an equine trade association.

C'mon boys and girls - at least pretend to do your homework!

Posted by: TonyFo | January 25, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Looks like we've got a large number of highly educated climate scientists commenting today. And what a relief to hear that global warming is a hoax. And even if it isn't a hoax and the planet becomes uninhabitable, there is always Plan(et) B.

Posted by: kashe | January 25, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Looks like we've got a large number of highly educated climate scientists commenting today. And what a relief to hear that global warming is a hoax. And even if it isn't a hoax and the planet becomes uninhabitable, there is always Plan(et) B.

Posted by: kashe | January 25, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

How many people in this administration have quit their job so far?

Posted by: voice02 | January 25, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

She was such a lightweight with a blatent political & personal agenda, it reflected poorly on Obama that he hired her in the first place.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | January 25, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Deniers will claim Thermageddon is a Marxist plot, even as they sell their beach-front properties...quicquid agunt homines

Posted by: greenchoyss | January 25, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Glad she is going. In fact, they could all go home to suit our family. How about sending home the space unit who allowed the Korean song played for the Chinese leader that professes sheer hatred for America at the dinner for the leader of China because it was his favorite. What?
These people are the most inept inexperienced loonies to ever be appointed or part of this pathetic administration. Do us all a favor and quit.

Posted by: greatgran1 | January 25, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Probably hoping for a lighter prison sentence when normal people discover the scope of the global warming fraud.

Posted by: 1911a1 | January 25, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

She'll move on to the next phony emergency - global cooling.

Posted by: johnfchick1 | January 25, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Accd to: edwardallen54 |"Remember, (EPA) was an agency created by Republicans (Nixon), and intended only to create regulations that keep big chemicial manufacturers operating in face of competitors."

=================================

Sorry, that's just historical fiction. In fact, EPA was created to join 15 different federal agencies fighting air, water, waste, chemical & other types of pollution. See environmentalhistory.org

Posted by: wkovarik | January 25, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

What moron would put a person like Browner over Energy & Climate when she has ZERO, ZIP, NADA, education in either subject?

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 25, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

"No back story"? You mean like nobody from the energy industry made a phone call to the White House asking for a few concessions as we approach 2012?

Posted by: prickles1009 | January 25, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

George F. Will has been reciting the energy industry's lies on climate change, and the time has come for the Washington Post's editors to stop pretending that he is an honorable man.

Posted by: ContinentalOp | January 25, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Judging from the tone and content of many of these posts, Ms. Browner must be smart and effective. Why else would the trolls be out in such force?

Posted by: frodot

===========================================

Democrat Strategy: Call someone a name if they don't agree with the democrat talking points and not know what they are talking about.

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | January 25, 2011 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Judging from the tone and content of many of these posts, Ms. Browner must be smart and effective. Why else would the trolls be out in such force?

Posted by: frodot

===========================================

Democrat Strategy: Call someone a name if they don't agree with the democrat talking points and not know what they are talking about.

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | January 25, 2011 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Judging from the tone and content of many of these posts, Ms. Browner must be smart and effective. Why else would the trolls be out in such force?

Posted by: frodot | January 25, 2011 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Browner was the most aggressively anti-business EPA administrator ever. Remember, this was an agency created by Republicans (Nixon), and intended only to create regulations that keep big chemicial manufacturers operating in face of competitors. Browner never understood this and pushed an agenda that would have destroyed the industries that created the EPA. Her misguided policies will not be missed.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | January 25, 2011 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Fifteen percent ethanol is rotting rubber in older engines, causing breakdowns and engine damage. We need to get the government out of the business of setting these sort of silly standards which are costly for consumers.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | January 25, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Good riddance. But let's hope she's really gone and not just in name only. She is (and was as EPA chief) an agenda driven off the charts leftist who cares more about promoting her personal agenda than she does for doing what's best.

Posted by: Lilycat11 | January 25, 2011 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Good riddance. But let's hope she's really gone and not just in name only. She is (and was as EPA chief) an agenda driven off the charts leftist who cares more about promoting her personal agenda than she does for doing what's best.

Posted by: Lilycat11 | January 25, 2011 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Last time the fair Ms.Browner left Fedral office she sestroyed all of her records in violation of teh Federal Records Act. I hope that she leaves her records behind this time in compliance with the Presidential Records Act.

Posted by: mrterp | January 25, 2011 6:16 AM | Report abuse

Last time the fair Ms.Browner left Fedral office she sestroyed all of her records in violation of teh Federal Records Act. I hope that she leaves her records behind this time in compliance with the Presidential Records Act.

Posted by: mrterp | January 25, 2011 6:16 AM | Report abuse

This winter and the Climategate emails have finally put the stake in the heart of the Anthropogenic Global Warming Hoax. After Boehner deep-sixed Markey's bogus committee on the subject, Obama decided that Browner was even more useless in the WH than she had been at the EPA.

Posted by: djman1141 | January 25, 2011 2:53 AM | Report abuse

This winter and the Climategate emails have finally put the stake in the heart of the Anthropogenic Global Warming Hoax. After Boehner deep-sixed Markey's bogus committee on the subject, Obama decided that Browner was even more useless in the WH than she had been at the EPA.

Posted by: djman1141 | January 25, 2011 2:53 AM | Report abuse

This winter and the Climategate emails have finally put the stake in the heart of the Anthropogenic Global Warming Hoax. After Boehner deep-sixed Markey's bogus committee on the subject, Obama decided that Browner was even more useless in the WH than she had been at the EPA.

Posted by: djman1141 | January 25, 2011 2:53 AM | Report abuse

This winter and the Climategate emails have finally put the stake in the heart of the Anthropogenic Global Warming Hoax. After Boehner deep-sixed Markey's bogus committee on the subject, Obama decided that Browner was even more useless in the WH than she had been at the EPA.

Posted by: djman1141 | January 25, 2011 2:53 AM | Report abuse

This winter and the Climategate emails have finally put the stake in the heart of the Anthropogenic Global Warming Hoax. After Boehner deep-sixed Markey's bogus committee on the subject, Obama decided that Browner was even more useless in the WH than she had been at the EPA.

Posted by: djman1141 | January 25, 2011 2:53 AM | Report abuse

This winter and the Climategate emails have finally put the stake in the heart of the Anthropogenic Global Warming Hoax. After Boehner deep-sixed Markey's bogus committee on the subject, Obama decided that Browner was even more useless in the WH than she had been at the EPA.

Posted by: djman1141 | January 25, 2011 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Browner's accomplishments with the Clinton Administration was the three-gallon toilet and the removal of ozone-depleting chemicals from US manufacturing processes. I'm sure there are lots of others but these are the ones that can publicly be traced to her by someone like me that is not a political insider. Her biggest failure with the Clinton Administration was the inability to secure better regulation of mountaintop-removal mining in West Virginia. But that's Congress' fault, because the Dept of Interior has environmental regulation authority over mining, not the EPA, and it's been like that from the beginning.

I wish she had been able to continue on in the role she has. Hopefully she could have added a ban on 8 cylinder car and SUV engines to her listing of already solid accomplishments. But, given her "socialist" background, she would probably just have become a lightning rod for demagoguing Republicans.

Just as an average American, I respect her accomplishments and wish her well. I think it speaks very highly of her that she could make it through eight years of working with all the slippery characters in the Clinton Administration with her reputation intact.

Posted by: armyofone | January 25, 2011 2:40 AM | Report abuse

If Obama moves any further to the right,
he, not Bachman, will be giving the Tea
Party State of the Union address.

Posted by: printthis | January 25, 2011 1:45 AM | Report abuse

First it was the big cover up and then outed via emails of the opposing scientist view on "climate change" and then it was the big mistake by the White House to even know (or did they?) how much oil was really leaking into the Gulf...and she gets to quit?

Posted by: Indi1 | January 24, 2011 11:42 PM | Report abuse

The EPA is out of control!!! The latest is mandating a 15% ethanol fuel mix when ethanol has been shown to cause engines to run hot and ruin them. Further the corn used for Ethanol could feed livestock or other uses, and with corn at all time highs using more to produce fuel is ridiculous. So good riddance to Ms. Browner, and close down the EPA.

Posted by: JuicyJuice | January 24, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

OK, well, I suppose Ms. Browner has other career options. Thank you for the good fight. But, I'm still worried that Obama is going to hang Lisa Jackson out to dry by giving away the EPA's greenhouse gas regulating authority in a vain attempt to get the Republicans to agree to cooperate on something. That authority is my personal red line. If he lets it go, I'm finished with Obama.

Mr. President, when it comes to the EPA, you have a royal flush. Don't throw away your ace.

Posted by: leptoquark | January 24, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

OK, well, I suppose Ms. Browner has other career options. Thanks you for the good fight. But, I'm still worried that Obama is going to hang Lisa Jackson out to dry by giving away the EPA's greenhouse gas regulating authority in a vain attempt to get the Republicans to agree to cooperate on something. That authority is my personal red line. If he lets it go, I'm finished with Obama.

Mr. President, when it comes to the EPA, you have a royal flush. Don't throw away your ace.

Posted by: leptoquark | January 24, 2011 11:06 PM | Report abuse


More rats leaving the sinking ship of Barry's failed presidency.

Posted by: screwjob23 | January 24, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

"Her departure may be part of a legitimate effort to pay careful attention to addressing some of the real regulatory obstacles in the way of job creation in the United States."

Because she certainly did her best to put those obstacles there in the first place. Good riddance is too much to hope for. She is one of those undesirable gifts that keeps on giving. Why fill positions that require scientific know how with lawyers like Browner and Lisa Jackson? Get rid of DOE and EPA and save some real money.

Posted by: tnvret | January 24, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Maybe she and Al Gore will team up for another sham operation and a Michael Moore movie production? If BS were brass she'd own a symphony orchestra.

Posted by: npsilver | January 24, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Maybe she and Al Gore will team up for another sham operation and a Michael Moore movie production? If BS were brass she'd own a symphony orchestra.

Posted by: npsilver | January 24, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Maybe she and Al Gore will team up for another sham operation and a Michael Moore movie production? If BS were brass she'd own a symphony orchestra.

Posted by: npsilver | January 24, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse


Browner is acting on the advice of B.B.King to make like a mole and go UNDERGROUND ... beware DCWASA and WSSC your aging infrastructure is in danger.

Posted by: polecatx1 | January 24, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

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