Carol M. Browner, the White House czar on energy and climate change, is expected to leave her position shortly, ending two years with the Obama administration (see Daily GPI, Dec. 12, 2008).

She will be departing the White House with two of her primary goals — comprehensive energy legislation and a cap-and-trade program — unmet. Cap-and-trade legislation died in Congress last year, and President Obama has indicated that he will not pursue it this year.

“That’s dead whether Carol Browner stays or not,” said Martin Edwards, legislative vice president of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, which represents interstate natural gas pipelines.

Browner’s decision to leave may be a signal that the “administration itself may want to take a more conciliatory approach to the energy industry going forward,” he speculated.

Like most, Edwards believes that Browner’s resignation is voluntary. She told The Washington Post that there is “no back story — it was just time to go.” The news of her imminent departure was first reported in Politico.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, she was a principal at The Albright Group LLC, which is headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright. Browner also was administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration.

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