That’s a good question, and the answer isn’t as clear as it may seem at first blush. In early 2009 President Barack Obama appointed Carol Browner as Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy. Ms. Browner was formerly director of the EPA during the Clinton administration. While Ms. Browner is known as the “Energy Czar,” that does not necessarily mean renewable energy czar, as her position is intended to coordinate the administration’s overall energy policy she works with various traditional and renewable energy industry representatives. She is a political appointee. Is she therefore in charge of coming up with a unified renewable energy plan in the US? While clearly an emphasis on renewable energy is one of the Obama administration’s stated goals, I don’t know that she or anyone else is really “in charge” of renewable energy, because the advances that are being made in developing new sources of energy are being made not by the government but by private companies. Certainly she, the Secretary of Energy and President Obama himself will be involved in policy matters designed to foster the development of renewable energy, but it’s not like there is one specific official who’s out there saying, “Okay, I am mandating that we use 10% more solar and 15% more wind power next year.” It all depends on whether there are renewable energy providers out there who can supply energy efficiently and cost-effectively, a factor which is not under the control of one person or even a unified group of people.
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