Top Reid energy aide to leave Capitol Hill

Miller was previously an aide to former Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) and other high-ranking lawmakers. His tenure on Capitol Hill has included work on a number of major bills that shaped energy and environmental policy.

“I am thankful for the many great opportunities that I’ve been afforded — working for Majority Leader Reid, EPW Chairman Jeffords, EPW Ranking Member [Max] Baucus [(D-Mont.)], Senator [Carl] Levin [(D-Mich.)], the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and working on landmark laws like the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the Energy Policy Acts of 1992 and 2005, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and other important legislation,” his email said.

One veteran environmentalist said Miller, 50, left a strong imprint on energy policy.

“Chris Miller was there on the scene for a lot of the major environmental and energy bills that were on the floor of the Senate and he was sort of the conscience of the leaders,” said Marchant Wentworth of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“He will be sorely, sorely, sorely missed,” said Wentworth, the deputy legislative director for the group’s climate and energy program.

One former colleague said Miller's skills went well beyond policy expertise.

“Far too often on the Hill, you have policy staff that are very smart but don't have a good feel for the politics of the place. Chris could juggle both policy and politics,” said Jim Manley, a former spokesman for Reid.

Karen Wayland, an environmentalist and former Capitol Hill aide, worked with Miller in several capacities.

“He is a legend. He has been part of every major environmental battle that I have been a part of, and he was there helping to craft the laws that we were then fighting to protect,” said Wayland, who is now an independent consultant.

Wayland was a science fellow in Reid’s office when Miller was an Environment and Public Works Committee staffer. Later Wayland was the legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, and after that served as a senior policy adviser for then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

She called Miller's upcoming departure “the end of an era.”

Reid’s office declined comment.

This post was updated at 3:33 p.m. on Dec. 4