Feb. 10, 2009
POSITION: ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR ENERGY & CLIMATE CHANGE
(Energy and Environment Czar, new position created by President Obama to coordinate energy and climate policy regulations)
NOMINEE: Carol M. Browner
BIRTH DATE: December 16, 1955 in Miami, FL
B.A. in English 1977, University of Florida, Gainesville
J.D. 1979; University of Florida College of Law
FAMILY: Husband: Thomas Downey, former Democratic congressman from New York
Son: Zachary, from previous marriage to Michael Podhorzer, health-care issues specialist at Citizen Action
Clinton White House: 1993-2001 Head Administrator of the EPA under President Clinton
2001-2008 Founding Member of the Albright Group, international strategy consulting firm
1991-1993 Secretary of Environmental Regulation, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
1988-1991 Legislative Director for Senator Al Gore (D-TN)
1986-1988: worked in Washington for Senator Lawton Chiles (D-FL)
1983 Associate Director for Citizen Action, a lobbying organization founded by Ralph Nader
1980-1981 General Counsel for the Florida House of Representatives Committee on Government Operations
ON GOVERNMENT & SOCIALIST POLICIES
"Until last week, Carol M. Browner, President-elect Barack Obama's pick as global warming czar, was listed as one of 14 leaders of a socialist group's Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which calls for "global governance" and says rich countries must shrink their economies to address climate change.
"By Thursday, Mrs. Browner's name and biography had been removed from Socialist International's Web page, though a photo of her speaking June 30 to the group's congress in Greece was still available.
"Socialist International, an umbrella group for many of the world's social democratic political parties such as Britain's Labor Party, says it supports socialism and is harshly critical of U.S. policies."
ON GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE
"As one might expect, she's been highly critical of President George W. Bush, saying he's run the 'worst environmental administration ever.'"
"There is a lot of opportunity out there to green our buildings, to green our schools. State and local governments have an important role to play; looking at how we make the grid bigger, better, smarter; and looking at how we change transportation in this country so that it's greener."
"Not all problems that we address in society need to focus on individual action," Browner said in response to one student's question about the role of laws in changing individuals' behavior. "Regulations need to be imposed on the biggest source of emissions."
While calling for a systematic and thoughtful review of the best policies and technologies, Browner also sounded an alarm, calling global warming the biggest environmental crisis the world has ever faced, one creating changes that, if not addressed soon, will be irreversible.
"If we fail to act we'll become the first generation that has left to the next generation a problem that can't really be resolved," she said. "No generation has yet left a permanently altered planet. There is not a single engineer in the world who could reverse the rise in the sea level once it starts to happen."
For that reason, Brown said, one of the biggest obstacles to an effective solution is the crowd of persistent naysayers who continue to insist that climate change is not a scientifically proven phenomenon. She said their arguments are no more rational than the assertions of past generations that AIDS was not a problem or the world was not round.
Long an acolyte of Al Gore, she has called climate change "the greatest challenge ever faced"
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