First there was Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu resigning after four years of service in The White House, now Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is retiring:
“While I will always remain dedicated to the missions of the department, I informed the president of my decision a few days after the election that Jean and I were eager to return to California,” Chu wrote in a lengthy “Dear Colleagues” letter Friday morning. “I would like to return to an academic life of teaching and research but will still work to advance the missions that we have been working on together for the last four years.”
Apparently, Chu will be the longest serving Secretary of Energy in history once Obama finds a replacement. Personally, I’m a big fan of Chu’s – I think he’s been probably the most well known Energy Secretary in history, most noted for having the scientific street cred of being a Nobel Prize laureate in Physics, and making the rounds in the popular press and television to promote alternative energy and conservation.
I did hear that under Chu’s tenure, alternative energy production (solar, wind, etc.) in the U.S. almost doubled – but so did domestic oil and gas production (due to technological breakthroughs in drilling and fracking. The failure of federally loan supported Solyndra was probably Chu’s biggest controversy during his term in office, though no evidence was found directly linking him to any potentially damaging politically connected decision making behind the loan’s decision.
Now with to Asian Americans departing from Obama’s cabinet, I wonder if and who President Obama has in mind (if anybody), to replace Chu and Lu.
Image source: Department of Energy