Obama Climate Adviser Browner to Step Down

White House energy and climate adviser Carol Browner plans to step down, officials confirmed to Fox News, marking the latest change-up at the highest levels of the Obama administration.

The move comes as President Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union address at the halfway point of his term. He’s scored significant legislative victories on the domestic front — victories he will likely touch upon in his address — but a comprehensive bill to address climate change is not among them. Browner, while successful in negotiating new fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards with automakers, had not been able to shepherd such a package through Capitol Hill. After Republicans gained a majority in the House, Obama admitted the legislation to place a firm limit on greenhouse gas emissions was dead.

White House officials who confirmed Browner’s departure would not say what will happen with the energy and climate office, but said it would be addressed as part of the White House reorganization. They said Browner is prepared to stay on as long as necessary to ensure a smooth and orderly transition.

Browner, a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator under President Bill Clinton, will be leaving the White House just as Republicans in Congress prepare to take on the Obama administration over global warming and the administration’s response to the massive Gulf oil spill.



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