White House taps John Podesta to oversee clean energy spending

President Biden is bringing longtime Democratic adviser John Podesta back to the White House to fill the newly created role of senior adviser for “clean energy innovation and implementation.”

Why it matters: Podesta will oversee the implementation of the roughly $370 billion worth of clean energy and climate-related investments in the recently signed Democratic tax and climate legislation.

  • Podesta has a long history on climate work and has worked at the highest levels of Democratic administrations and politics.
  • He was chief of staff to former President Clinton, later served as a top climate adviser to President Obama and chaired Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 White House run.
  • In 2003, he founded the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with close ties to Democrats.

Catch up fast: The White House also announced Friday that Gina McCarthy, Biden’s top domestic climate aide, will depart mid-September and be replaced by Ali Zaidi, her deputy.

Quick take via Axios’ Andrew Freedman: Creation of a central White House role overseeing the new law signals a heavy priority on breathing life into the historically large new investments.

What they’re saying: “[Podesta’s] Deep roots in climate and clean energy policy and his experience at senior levels of government mean we can truly hit the ground running to take advantage of the massive clean energy opportunity in front of us,” Biden said in a statement.

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