Energy and Climate on the White House Agenda
The session appeared to mark an early stage of the “national conversation” on how to deal with climate change that Mr. Obama promised to lead shortly after he was re-elected in November.
Among the participants were top oil and gas and utility executives, academic experts on energy, former government officials and a half-dozen White House staff members. Bill Ritter Jr., the former governor of Colorado and an outspoken advocate for clean energy, was there, as was Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a former chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Cass R. Sunstein, the Harvard Law School professor who served as overseer of federal regulation in Mr. Obama’s first term, was also at the table.
Here is the White House description of the gathering: “During the meeting, the president reiterated his commitment to a cleaner and more secure energy future. The discussion covered a variety of topics including the important role of natural gas in our domestic energy portfolio, new opportunities for renewables like wind, solar and advanced biofuels, the importance of clean energy research and development, as well as the promise and potential of increased energy efficiency in our homes and businesses.”
The White House added that Mr. Obama said he would use his executive branch authority during his second term to advance his goals for clean energy and climate change, repeating a vow from his recent State of the Union address.
The attendees were asked not to discuss the specifics of the conversation.
Officials said that Mr. Obama would visit the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago next Friday to discuss energy
Here is a full list of the participants in Thursday’s meeting, as provided by the White House:
James T. Hackett, executive chairman, Anadarko
Lew Hay, executive chairman, NextEra; chairman, Edison Electric Institute
Walter Isaacson, president and chief executive, Aspen Institute
Shirley Ann Jackson, president, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Eric Lander, professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, PCAST
Alex Laskey, president and founder, Opower
Bill Ritter Jr., director, Center for New Energy Economy, Colorado State University
Debra Reed, chief executive, Sempra
Terry Royer, president and chief executive, Winergy
Jeffrey W. Shaw, chief executive, Southwest Gas
Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president, and chief executive, FedEx
Cass R. Sunstein, professor, Harvard Law School
Susan F. Tierney, managing principal, Analysis Group
Cynthia Warner, president, Sapphire Energy