Kernen: Energy Czar Browner is 'Scary' during 'Once in a Lifetime Recession'
President-elect Barack Obama named Carol Browner the âczarâ of climate and energy policy for the White House, but CNBCâs Joe Kernen was wary of her appointment.
âYou can see that even in Europe, some of the climate concerns, given this, this once in a lifetime recession, John â to put someone that, an advocate of such strong measures,â Kernen said on âSquawk Boxâ Dec. 11. âReally Iâve seen her called Brownies or Brownistas. Um. Thatâs a little scary with whatâs happening right now.â
Earlier Kernen was discussing cabinet appoints with CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood and pointed to new regulations Browner could institute:
âBut is this a little bit of a payback to the left? This lady is going to be our energy czar. Sheâs going to coordinate all the different federal agencies. She wants at this point to, um, go back and revisit that California decision not â to not allow that company to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from auto vehicles, thatâs just what the automobile companies need right now, John. Also, she would like to reconsider the EPA, whether they can consider greenhouse gases an âendanger to health or welfareâ and then actually have regulators under the Clean Air Act regulating carbon dioxide.â
Kernen said such regulation could apply to âschools, bakeries, breweries, places of worship and other small emitters.â
Harwood responded, âNow, I think on the Carol Browner appointment, thatâs kind of interesting because heâs about to appoint a Nobel prize winning physicist to be his energy secretary, but Carol Browner in the White House is going to be energy czar and youâve got to wonder how the balance of power is going to be struck between those two.â
The New York Times reported Dec. 10 that Brownerâs job at the White House was still under discussion, but aides said that she would advocate for Obamaâs energy policy on Capitol Hill and coordinate policy between departments.
Browner recently worked for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at Albright Capital Management, but has also held positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1993-2001. She has also worked for