Policy: Environment & Energy

Obama’s Green Revolving Door: DOE chief of staff cashes out to green carmaker

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Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Environment,Barack Obama,Energy Department,Analysis,Energy and Environment

Brandon Hurlbut was one of many former lobbyists hired in the Obama administration, despite promises to the contrary and very public claims to have kept that promise.

Hurlbut “managed the [Department of Energy]’s principal initiatives including oversight of the federal agency’s day-to-day operations, $27 billion budget and 115,000-person workforce. In addition, he led the transition team from Energy Secretary Chu to current Secretary Moniz before departing the DOE in June” — at least according to his new employer, green-car maker ECOtality.

Lachlan Markay at the Free Beacon has the story:

Hurlbut marks a high profile addition to a roster of political connections that helped ECOtality secure more than $100 million in taxpayer financing for its electric vehicle charging stations.

ECOtality secured a $99.8 million award in 2009 to install nearly 15,000 electric vehicle chargers throughout the country. The contract was integral to the president’s stated goal of getting a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

“During my service at the Department of Energy, I was committed to the president’s goal to accelerate electrification of our transportation sector,” Hurlbut wrote in a statement on the move.

“I was proud to support a DOE team that made substantial progress on that goal,” he added. “I believe the future is bright for the electric vehicle industry where ECOtality is a leader.”

ECOtality has adopted an explicitly political business strategy in an effort to secure federal subsidies that continue to account for the bulk of its revenue.

“I’m a political beast,” then-CEO Jonathan Read said in a July 2007shareholder conference call. “Playing the political card is something that when the time is right we’re going to play very hard.”

The next year, then-presidential candidate Obama rolled out his plan to get a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

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