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Steven Chu  (Source:
He plans to return to California

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Friday that he is resigning from his role, but a successor has not been named.

Chu, a scientist and Nobel Prize winner who assumed office in January 2009 as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy, had planned to leave for a few months now. When President Barack Obama took office after the November 2012 election, Chu told Obama that he wanted to return to his academic life in California, where he served as director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Chu wrote a letter of resignation, which was published on Friday. He listed the department's many accomplishments while he was in office, such as the doubling of clean, renewable energy from wind and solar; helping one million low-income homeowners weatherize their homes; building, opening and retooling more than a dozen auto manufacturing plants for hybrids and EVs; launching the first national scale rooftop solar project, which will include commercial buildings in up to 28 states, and giving grants/loans to over 1,300 companies through the Recovery Act.

However, Chu's time as secretary hasn't been all roses and rainbows. The Department of Energy had been given $36 billion in stimulus money to spend, and Chu was criticized for giving some of the money to clean energy companies as loan guarantees and grants when they eventually filed for bankruptcy.

One of the most notable failures was Solyndra, a Silicon Valley-based solar panel company that received $535 million from DOE in 2009. The move was set to stimulate economic growth through environmentally friendly jobs, but in September 2011, Solyndra declared bankruptcy -- laying off 1,100 workers.

The biggest issue was that the money was given despite previous warnings of Solyndra's viability. Only days before the final approval, an email predicted that the project would run out of money in 2011. Another email from government staffers questioned the model the government was using, but said "given the time pressure we are under to sign off on Solyndra, we don't have time to change the model."

Reports state that the White House pushed the loan ahead despite warnings in order to meet political deadlines.

There were other green energy loan failures too, such as a $43 million loan guarantee to Beacon Power in 2010 (the company filed for bankruptcy in November 2011) and a $118.5 million grant to Ener1 Inc.'s subsidiary EnerDel in 2009 (Ener1 Inc. filed for bankruptcy in January 2012).

Nevertheless, Chu has made great strides in efficient energy in the U.S. He said only 1 percent of the 1,300 companies filed for bankruptcy. He's also pushing for the continued support of green energy into the future.

"The test for America's policy makers will be whether they are willing to accept a few failures in exchange for many successes," wrote Chu.

Chu plans to keep his role through the end of February, but will then return to California. A successor has not been named yet, but a few candidates are former North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and former San Francisco hedge fund manager Tom Steyer.

You can read Chu's full resignation letter here.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

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RE: In other words...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/4/2013 3:38:46 PM , Rating: 3
This guy truly deserves a bullet to the face. He's in charge of this countries energy for over 4 years while we have prolonged record high gas prices, electricity rates skyrocketing, and everything else. Meanwhile, like every Socialist, he's more concerned with pie in the sky bullshit like EV's and solar power that have no chance in hell of meeting the immediate needs of the population. And he's given BILLIONS of dollars while the country is bankrupt and millions are out of work, to companies who haven't done a goddamn thing in return.

What kind of Asian is he anyway!? When one fails this completely, aren't they supposed to kill themselves or something? (warning morbid/racial humor, oh the horror)

"You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords."

The Operative, Serenity 2005

RE: In other words...
By coondini on 2/4/13, Rating: -1
RE: In other words...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/4/2013 5:47:42 PM , Rating: 3
fossil fuel-powered big-ass trucks and SUVs

Hey the 1990's just called, they want their tired worn-out Liberal talking points back.

RE: In other words...
By Spuke on 2/4/2013 6:03:31 PM , Rating: 2
slowly chugging along with our fossil fuel-powered big-ass trucks and SUVs
Is this all you people have for an argument? Seriously, there's no facts to this and it's just plain lame. A simple Google search (ever heard of that?) would reveal ACTUAL auto sales data. That sales data refutes large SUV's ever being a factor in overall sales here in the US. Sure Ford has the number one selling vehicle of all time for the last 30 years straight and it's their F-series pickups but all the rest of the cars in the top 10 combined outsell the Ford pickups. It only takes a child with basic reading skills to see that Americans VASTLY prefer cars and have done so for many years. Also, the VAST majority of the engines in those cars are the base engine which is typically a 4 cylinder. Quite frankly, I find people like YOU to be WORSE than people on the other side of the argument cause you claim to have our best interests. It reminds of the saying, "many mean well as they're sending you to hell". Personally, I'd rather be getting a suntan with Satan than to spend one minute with assholes like yourself.

RE: In other words...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/4/2013 6:06:43 PM , Rating: 3
lol yeah pretty much. Maybe he sees Hummers everywhere he goes and gas guzzling trucks, but I sure don't.

Of course like most Liberals, he's probably living in mom's basement without a job so doesn't get out much. But he's really good at telling those who do, what they should be paying for.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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