President Obama's top adviser on energy and climate change, Heather Zichal, plans to step down in the next few weeks after five years at the White House, senior administration officials said on Monday.
Zichal, 37, has advised Obama since his 2008 presidential campaign and helped shape the administration's policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions blamed for contributing to global warming.
Zichal was the architect of the president's plan, announced in June, to cut carbon emissions from US power plants, reviving his climate agenda after a planned "cap and trade" system was thwarted by Congress during his first term.
Zichal plans to move to a non-government job. She had other opportunities within the administration but decided the time was right to move on, officials said.
A replacement has not been named.
"Heather is one of the president's most trusted policy advisers. The president values her expertise and counsel and is grateful for her service," White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
Dan Utech, a deputy director for energy and climate change at the White House and one-time adviser to former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, could be tapped to replace Zichal.
An Iowa native, Zichal is one of only a handful of advisers from Obama's 2008 campaign still working at the White House. Other big names such as communications gurus David Axelrod and David Plouffe left for the private sector much earlier.
The first-term heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior and Department of Energy have also stepped down and been replaced.
Zichal started thinking about leaving the White House after the 2012 election but waited to help usher through Obama's new climate initiatives in June. Obama raised the hopes of environmentalists with his reference to climate change in his January inaugural address.
The EPA is now taking the lead on implementing that agenda, with emissions standards for new power plants unveiled in September and those for existing plants due in 2014.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 10/07/2013
Editor's Note: And now, with the IPCC report confirming that Global Warming hasn't occurred since the 1990s and the activist Climate Science movement is pretty much BS, you know who to blame for higher prices caused by Mr. Obama's climate policy...
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