DEPARTMENT OF ENERGYUS Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced last week (February 1) that he will step down from the post to return to teaching and research as soon as President Obama names a successor, likely within the next month.
During his 4-year stint leading the $27 billion Department of Energy (DOE), Nobel Laureate Chu has pushed for funding to support research on the development of new technologies that could wean the United States off fossil fuels. He was the first energy secretary to secure funding for the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), created by Congress in 2007 to help kick-start clean energy technology companies. He also approved a controversial loan guarantee for Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer that failed, potentially at a great cost to taxpayers.
When he leaves Washington D.C., Chu plans to return to California, where he spent 17 years on the faculty at Stanford University and served as director as the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
(Hat tip to ScienceInsider)