Zichal resigns as chief White House energy and climate advisor

Heather Zichal has resigned as US President Barack Obama’s deputy assistant for energy and climate change. Recently the White House’s main public voice on such matters, she was a major architect of the climate change initiative Obama announced in June.

Zichal joined the Obama administration after serving as energy advisor in Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. She previously was then-US Sen. John F. Kerry’s (D-Mass.) legislative director after managing energy and environmental issues in his 2004 presidential campaign.

A White House spokesman issued a statement on Oct. 7 saying her service and contributions had been valuable, and she will be missed. No replacement has been named.

Both oil and gas associations and environmental groups responded to the news. “Heather has been a tireless, effective, and honest broker on some of the more contentious energy issues before our nation,” America’s Natural Gas Alliance Pres. Martin J. Durbin said.

The climate-change strategy Zichal helped create include the first-ever proposal to limit carbon emissions from new power plants, Environmental Defense Fund Pres. Fred Krupp noted.

“During her 5-year tenure [at the White House]…the US also adopted rigorous limits on the toxic mercury emissions from power plants to protect our communities and families, and established historic cleaner car standards that will strengthen our national security, save Americans’ money at the [gasoline] pump, and cut climate pollution,” Krupp said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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