U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu plans to formally leave his cabinet position in the Obama administration after the inauguration, according to two unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg.
The departure would leave the Obama administration with vacancies in the top three cabinet-level positions that oversee energy and environmental policy, following the departures of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and EPA head Lisa Jackson. A spokesman for the Energy Department denied the rumors in a statement to The Huffington Post, saying, “Dr. Chu is focused on his job as Secretary each day and hasn’t made any announcements about his future plans.”
Chu, 64, has been a champion of renewable energy technologies during his tenure, including wind and solar power generation, both of which doubled during Obama’s first term in office. Chu’s enthusiasm for breakthrough technologies led to the creation of a division in the DOE dedicated to nurturing such advancements. Under Chu’s leadership, the DOE formed a program to support the development of groundbreaking nuclear power technologies as well, including the DOE’s closely-watched Small Modular Reactor program.
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