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Obama’s energy team has its own ‘inconvenient truths’

Officials with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) say president-elect Obama’s picks for energy secretary, EPA administrator, and energy and climate czar are troubling.

President-elect Obama has chosen Steven Chu as energy secretary, Lisa Jackson as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, and Carol Browner (formerly EPA administrator under Bill Clinton for seven years) as his energy and climate czar. But while the mainstream media and Obama supporters are applauding the picks, at least one critic suggests those offering the accolades are not fully informed.

According to Iain Murray, a CEI senior fellow in energy, science, and technology, “the people who don’t really care about the economic effects of their policies” are the one singing the praises of Obama’s choices to head up his energy program. Murray is author of The Really Inconvenient Truths — a critical look at global warming.

Murray tells Fox News that by picking more former Clinton appointees, Obama has undercut his promise to bring a new voice to the debate on environmental issues. “This is the sort of thing that indicates that Obama is going to be very, very much a part of the environmentalist establishment,” he stated.

In addition, Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at CEI, points out that all the appointees are dedicated environmentalists. “They are all committed, I believe, to what president-elect Obama says is his agenda, which is to spend an awful lot of taxpayer money on creating so-called ‘green jobs,'” says Ebell.

Ebell points out that Browner was a legislative director for Al Gore and one of the chief researchers and writers for Gore’s radical environmental manifesto, Earth in the Balance. But he adds that as energy and climate czar her role would be more of an advisor to Obama and would otherwise not have much clout in policy setting.

In contrast, according to Ebell, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson — a protégée of Browner — would be very instrumental in implementing Obama’s environmental agenda.

The energy expert adds that Steven Chu’s appointment as energy secretary is worrisome. Chu, he notes, won a Nobel Prize in physics for his work in laser technology; but Ebell says the Chu’s interest in climate change is more a matter of personal interest than his scientific background. “He is a big advocate for replacing coal,” adds Ebell. “He said coal is the problem, we’ve got to get rid of it.”

According to Ebell, Chu is the scientific version of Al Gore.