Jack Lew – Friend of Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy – Named White House Chief of Staff

On Jan. 9, 2011, President Barack Obama announced that Jack Lew, the current Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director, is replacing Bill Daley as Chief of Staff.  This move puts yet another energy efficiency and clean energy champion in Obama’s inner circle, helping to ensure that the president continues his strong efforts to advance energy efficiency throughout the economy as a means of creating jobs, improving the economy, protecting the environment and securing our nation. 

Lew: No Stranger to Energy Efficiency

While not often highlighted in Lew’s impressive list of credentials, among his many career stops Lew was a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Van Ness Feldman from 1988 to 1993, overlapping the tenure of Kateri Callahan who served as a non-lawyer professional at the firm from 1986 through 1992. While Lew’s work centered on power generation issues, he exuded great interest and passion in new technologies, innovation and efficiency. 

“I remember Jack fondly and with great respect as an advocate for clean energy and innovation.  Jack worked tirelessly with me to help create and launch the Electric Transportation Coalition, which formed alliances between the public and private sector to promote battery, hybrid and electric vehicles. Jack was passionate about the prospects that electric transportation and the energy efficiency gains and diversity the emerging technology promised our economy. His handiwork lives on in the Electric Drive Transportation Coalition, and his work to advance new clean energy technologies and practices widened as his career took him once again into public service,” said Callahan on hearing of Jack’s “promotion”. 

Callahan says Lew’s commitment to advancing energy efficiency and executing to the President’s clean energy economy are evident in his tenure as OMB director as he crafted the stimulus package and put forward budget proposals that increased funding for important energy efficiency initiatives within the federal government and administered by the Department of Energy.  She noted that he worked through tough budget negotiations last year that had energy efficiency experts concerned about the fate of funding for many projects. 

"Jack defended energy efficiency programs threatened with severe cuts because he knows that these programs save money, create jobs and make America more competitive. He worked to protect important programs – such as the Department of Energy Building Technologies and Industrial Technologies programs, and ARPA-E – even as the Administration proposed more than $1 trillion in cuts to programs and other saving measures. As he said in testimony before Congress, ‘To compete in the 21st century economy, we need to create an environment where invention, innovation and industry can flourish,” Callahan added.

The Alliance congratulates Jack Lew on his appointment and looks forward to working with him and the rest of the White House team to put the United States on the path to becoming the most efficient economy in the world.