Obama environmental adviser to resign

One of President Obama’s top environmental advisers will resign in March, the White House said.

Mike Boots, acting chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) since last February, has been responsible for coordinating many of the Obama administration’s top environmental and climate change policy priorities.

Boots’s departure, first reported by National Journal, will come the month after John Podesta  leaves the administration. Podesta, Obama’s top adviser on the environment and many other issues, has been planning his departure for a while.

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Obama thanked Boots for his service.

“It is no coincidence that Mike’s leadership of the Council on Environmental Quality has coincided with historic national progress on climate change and conservation,” Obama said in a statement.

“The country is better off because of Mike’s contribution, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

The White House said Boots is exploring a number of options outside the federal government, and officials did not offer plans for replacing him.

Obama specifically thanked Boots for his work with mayors and governors to help prepare communities’ infrastructure for climate change and for his help working to establish national monuments.

Boots played leading roles in the establishment of many recent national monuments, including one last year covering 490,000 square miles in the Pacific Ocean.

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He’s also led the Task Force on Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience and helped the Obama administration in its goal of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent, the Journal said.

“He has racked up an enormous string of victories just in the year that I have been here,” Podesta told the news magazine.

Boots as worked at CEQ since Obama took office in 2009. Before becoming its chairman, he was the chief of staff.

Updated at 3:01 p.m.