Obama adviser Carol Browner leaving

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Carol Browner, the former Clinton official whom President Obama tapped to help enact a cap-and-trade approach to global warming, will soon step down from her post as coordinator for energy and climate change policy, according to media reports.

The departure of Ms. Browner, who led the Environmental Protection Agency under former President Bill Clinton, comes a few months after Mr. Obama publicly acknowledged that comprehensive climate-change legislation is basically dead-on-arrival in the newly divided Congress.

News of her plans to step down was first reported by Politico, which said it’s not clear that she will be replaced.

Ms. Browner’s exit is part of a broad, public shakeup of top positions at the White House in the wake of the November elections that handed the House to Republicans. Mr. Obama has replaced his chief of staff, top economic advisers and is looking for a successor to longtime press secretary Robert Gibbs.

Many analysts say the moves are evidence the president is tacking to the center as he prepares for his own re-election ramp up in the coming months. Ms. Browner was a divisive figure among Republicans and even some Democrats, who criticized her as a “climate czar” with no accountability to Congress.

Cap-and-trade passed the House in 2009 but failed in the Senate, even as Democrats held a filibuster-proof majority during Mr. Obama’s first year in office. Its failure drew the ire of many environmental activists who accused the president of putting the issue on the back burner in favor of a health-care overhaul.

Ms. Browner’s public profile rose with the April 2010 BP oil spill, when she became a regular fixture on broadcast morning shows and sometimes helped Mr. Gibbs brief the press on the disaster.

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About the Author
Kara Rowland

Kara Rowland

Kara Rowland, White House reporter for The Washington Times, is a D.C.-area native. She graduated from the University of Virginia, where she studied American government and spent nearly all her waking hours working as managing editor of the Cavalier Daily, UVa.’s student newspaper.

Her interest in political reporting was piqued by an internship at Roll Call the summer before her ...

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