Obama Picks Solar Energy Exec Bryson for Commerce Dept.


His credentials with the NRDC advocacy group gained him much support among environmentalists over the years. NRDC President Frances Beinecke said in a statement that Bryson is "a visionary leader in promoting a clean environment and a strong economy." During his presidency of the CPUC from 1979 to 1982, one of Bryson's contribution was to separate utility profits from power use rates, helping encourage utilities to promote energy conservation.

Among his other business connections are directorships with Boeing and Walt Disney Co.

As interpreted by Bloomberg News, the choice of a business executive like Bryson for the commerce post is the latest move by Obama to repair relations between the White House and the business community. After sparring for much of last year over the president's health-care and financial regulatory overhauls, Obama has sought to reach out to more CEOs and business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent more than $30 million on 2010 congressional elections that gave Republicans control of the House of Representatives.