Obama energy secretary pick still a puzzle

By Reuters Staff
December 2, 2008

   With the list of candidates narrowing, speculation abounds about who U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama will tap to be energy secretary in his new administration.
    Two of the top candidates mentioned have taken themselves out of the running for the cabinet spot.
    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, told reporters Monday he had no interest in taking the position as head of the energy department. “I’m a candidate for nothing,” he said.
    Rendell’s lieutenant governor, Catherine Baker Knoll, died earlier this month after a battle with cancer. Knoll’s replacement and Rendell’s successor, if he were to leave his post, is Republican Joe Scarnati.  Rendell said he could not leave Pennsylvania in Scarnati’s hands.
    Senator Jeff Bingaman, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, has also ruled himself out as energy secretary.
    Bingaman recently met with members of Obama’s transition team to discuss the qualifications needed, and mostly likely possible candidates, for the next energy secretary. Bingaman’s committee would have to approve Obama’s nominee.
    Obama has already named about half of his cabinet. He is set to nominate on Wednesday New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, the former energy secretary in the Bill Clinton administration, as commerce secretary.
    With oil prices falling to below $50 this week, the energy secretary post may take on a lower profile. Obama, however, has said he remains committed to revamping energy policy and creating millions of green jobs.
    Some contenders still being floated for the energy position include:
    *Ray Mabus, former Democratic Governor of Mississippi and U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil producer.
    *Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat who fought efforts to allow a coal-fired power plant to expand in her state, saying it would spew more greenhouse gas emissions.
    *John Rowe, chairman and chief executive officer of Exelon Corporation, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities.
    *Dan Reicher, director of climate change and energy initiatives at Google.org.
    *Democratic Representative Jay Inslee, of Washington, who serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. He supports developing a federal program to aggressively invest in alternative energy.

– Ayesha Rascoe


Whoever he picks for the energy Dept. he has to remember this is part of our security!! We cannot and must not depend on foreign oil or gas, we have our on and other alternatives.People seem to forget that very easy!! you cannot right off oil and gas like that. more stringent rules how are we ever going to be energy sufficient? We have to get there first! then worry about the epa go ahead with green but we have to drill and build gas pipelines more restrictions and that will not happen!I am tired of war and this is our security to be energy sufficient we need it all!


Dan Reicher would be an excellent pick. He’s (1) extremely smart, (2) not a member of Congress (with the associated baggage), and (3) amazingly well informed about cutting-edge technologies that we need to utilize to reduce our dependence on carbon-based fuels.

Posted by Dave W | Report as abusive

Good for all OIL IMPORTING CountriesWhy not raise extra DUTY taxes on Imported OIL to pay for car bailout and major infrastructure workFederal added duty on IMPORTED Barrel of Oil under $50 so we keep drilling locally and lower deficitState shall collect anything under $2 per gallon so they also get a lower deficit.with a floor on the oil price at 4 years low not bad for customers which are already used to higher prices and than we continue searching for alternative energy.It’s a win / win situation money stay in the US while gov. collect tax to save jobsRaise taxes on OIL when prices are low and release Strategic Oil Reserve when Oil over $100.OPEC gets weaker and Gov. in business

Posted by Marc Krief | Report as abusive

Who ever is put into this post will need to take our energy and liquid fuel situation very serious as it is a threat to our security and well being. Renewable energy may be most expensive in the short-term but in the long term it will be very beneficial. Our economy is dependent on a reliable energy grid.


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