Friday, February 1, 2013

Steven Chu stepping down as U.S. Secretary of Energy

Energy Secretary Steven Chu (Dept of Energy photo)

Energy Secretary Steven Chu is leaving the Obama Administration, the White House confirmed today.

In his resignation letter, Chu said he intend to stay on board "past the end of February" to help the department find his successor.

Chu has been the 
target of  attacks from Republicans over his handling of a $528 million federal loan to solar panel maker Solyndra before the company filed for bankruptcy.

“During his time as Secretary, Steve helped my administration move America towards real energy independence,” President Obama said in a written statement today. “Over the past four years, we have doubled the use of renewable energy, dramatically reduced our dependence on foreign oil, and put our country on a path to win the global race for clean energy jobs.”

Chu is a Nobel Prize winner in physics and a former director of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

He is the third head of a federal department handling energy and environmental policy to leave at the start of the president's second term. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa  Jackson earlier announced they will be stepping down.

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