Environmental Economist Joins White House Staff

Nathaniel Keohane, most recently the chief economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, has moved to the National Economic Council at the White House to help direct environmental and energy policy. He replaces Joseph E. Aldy, who is returning to the faculty at Harvard University.

Mr. Keohane, an early and vigorous proponent of the market-based system of cap and trade to control greenhouse gas emissions, will be joining a White House bracing for an onslaught from Republicans in Congress determined to undo much of the administration’s environmental agenda.

In his new role, he will likely undertake economic analyses in defense of domestic and international environmental policies and will work with the major agencies involved in carrying out the administration’s agenda.

The top job at the economic council is currently vacant; the former director, Lawrence H. Summers, resigned at the end of 2010. Carol M. Browner, the White House coordinator for energy and climate policy, is rumored to be moving to a new post, possibly deputy chief of staff.

By JOHN M. BRODER/NYT

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