BY CHRIS CASTEEL Modified: November 7, 2008 at 12:53 am •  Published: November 7, 2008
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photo - In this  June 6, 2008,, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., left, talks with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., at a Chicago 2016 Olympic rally at Daley Center Plaza in Chicago. Obama's campaign has approached Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel about possibly serving as White House chief of staff, officials said Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
In this June 6, 2008,, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., left, talks with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., at a Chicago 2016 Olympic rally at Daley Center Plaza in Chicago. Obama's campaign has approached Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel about possibly serving as White House chief of staff, officials said Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
WASHINGTON — The natural gas industry may have a powerful new ally in the White House with President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff.

Emanuel, who represents a Chicago-area district in the U.S. House, was a lead sponsor — with Rep. Dan Boren — of legislation this year to expand the use of natural gas vehicles. He also appeared at a Washington news conference with Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon about natural gas supplies and usage.

Tom Price, a senior vice president at Chesapeake, said Thursday that it "could be quite advantageous” to have Emanuel in the White House when Obama is crafting an energy policy.

Price said Emanuel knows the issues surrounding natural gas — including its abundance and benefits for the environment and the economy — "as well as or better than anyone I can think of who’s been put into the position of (White House) chief of staff.”

Emanuel’s departure from the House means the natural gas legislation might not have a top Democratic leader to introduce it next year, but Price said there were other lawmakers who could step in.


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AT A GLANCE

Possible appointees

DEFENSE SECRETARY

→Current Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

→Former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig.

→Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., a critic of the Iraq war who is retiring from the Senate.

→Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., member of Senate Armed Services Committee.

SECRETARY OF STATE

→Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., former U.N. ambassador and energy secretary.

→Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., 2004 presidential nominee.

→Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., former chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

→Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., critic of Iraq war retiring from Senate.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

→Eric Holder, former deputy attorney general.

→Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.

→Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., member of House Judiciary Committee.

→Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, former assistant U.S. attorney for civil rights.

HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY

→James Lee Witt, former FEMA director.

→Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton.

→Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, chairman of 9/11 commission.

→Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., chairwoman of Homeland Security intelligence subcommittee.

From Wire Services

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