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White House environmental adviser Browner to step down

By the CNN Wire Staff
Carol Browner was one of President Obama's leading voices during the Gulf oil spill crisis last year.
Carol Browner was one of President Obama's leading voices during the Gulf oil spill crisis last year.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Carol Browner was a key player in the Gulf oil spill response
  • The move comes amid a White House midterm shakeup

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama's top White House adviser on energy and the environment, Carol Browner, is planning to step down within a few weeks, senior officials said late Monday.

Browner, a former Environmental Protection Agency chief, was one of the Obama administration's leading voices during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last summer. She was seen inside the administration as a cool hand during the months-long struggle to contain the underwater gusher that was unleashed when the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank in April.

The move comes amid a midterm White House shakeup that includes the departure of Obama's top political adviser, David Axelrod, and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Browner had been under consideration for a powerful deputy chief of staff job focused on policy issues. But Democratic sources said Browner's move makes it more likely that Nancy-Ann DeParle, Obama's well-respected health-care "czar," will broaden her portfolio.

From CNN White House correspondents Ed Henry and Dan Lothian

 
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