Senior administration officials confirm reports that Carol Browner, assistant to the president for energy and climate change, is departing the White House in the next few weeks.
A White House official says Browner will stay on as long as necessary to ensure an orderly transition.
"Carol is confident that the mission of her office will remain critical to the president and she is pleased with what will be in the State of the Union address tomorrow and in the budget on clean energy," the official says. "She is proud of the administration’s accomplishments – from the historic investments in clean energy included in the Recovery Act to the national policy on vehicle efficiency that will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and lower consumers’ prices at the pump."
That said, it's unclear that Browner will be replaced. When Democrats controlled the House and Senate, they were unable to pass major energy legislation addressing climate change, and now that Republicans control the House and Senate, Democrats have an even narrower margin.
"On the question of what will happen to the position, the president’s commitment to these issues will, of course, continue but any transition of the office will be announced soon," the official says.
News of Browner's departure first was reported by Politico's Mike Allen.