What do President-elect Obama's nominees to serve as Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, EPA Administrator, OMB Director, National Security Advisor, Science Advisor, Council on Environmental Quality Chair, and "Climate and Energy Czarina" all share beside their recent nominations? Each has a legitimate claim to being an "energy policy expert."
Previous administrations may have entered office with one or two true energy gurus on duty, but the Obama administration will start work Jan. 20 with at least ten, and likely more, senior officials who know a great deal about energy and climate policy, and will have strong positions from which to advance their views. The President-elect and Vice-President-elect also know a good bit about climate and energy. And, of course, so does the nominee to serve as Secretary of State, Sen. Hillary Clinton.
One of the most interesting and important challenges facing the new administration will be coordinating among and tapping the respective skills of this extraordinary team. For those who have interests in the areas of climate, energy and environmental policy, there will be few points of greater interest in Washington than the unfolding drama of how these officials choose -- or are led -- to work together.