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Environmental advocacy groups are clamoring for the new White House post to raise the profile of energy and environmental policy.

“There’s clearly a pent-up demand for things that got blocked during the Bush years,” Sierra Club spokesman Josh Dorner said.

Mr. Obama, taking a page from Mr. Gore’s script, has argued that an energy policy strikes the confluence of economic, national security and environmental challenges facing the country.

“Finding the new driver of our economy is going to be critical. There´s no better driver that pervades all aspects of our economy than a new energy economy,” Mr. Obama told Time magazine shortly before the election. “That´s going to be my No. 1 priority when I get into office.”