Obama’s Dept. of Energy Recalmation

I haven’t been as focused on Obama’s Cabinet picks as have others, but the pending nomination of Steven Chu to head the Department of Energy begs a note. Xeni Jardin’s headline (Obama Selects Nobel Prize Winning Nerd for Energy Chief) addresses part of what’s exciting about the appointment. Just as exciting to me, and something I haven’t seen mentioned by those who are tracking Obama’s appointments closely,  is the symbolism of the Chinese-American Chu taking the reigns of a Department that 8 years wrongfully imprisoned  Chinese-American scientist Wen Ho Lee. (Robert Scheer did yeoman’s work tracking the NYT’s disgraceful role in Lee’s persecution.) Chu’s fellow Secretary-desginee Bill Richardson was running Energy at the time and responsible for Lee’s treatment.

Even cooler, of course, is the fact that Chu is an expert on alternative energy sources.

Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said the need for alternatives to gasoline has become “very pressing” as the price of oil has risen. “Currently, transportation fuel is the most valuable form of energy we have,” Chu said. The economics is such that powering automobiles with gasoline is now four times as expensive as powering them with plug-in electricity, he said.


One thought on “Obama’s Dept. of Energy Recalmation

  1. As a 28-year employee of DOE, I have worked under the leadership of energy secretaries (Herrington, Edwards, Watkins, Richardson, Pena, Abarms, and Bodaman) except Secretary Bodmanm who were politicians who had no training in science or engineering, anaging an agency with world class facilities and seientific mission. Except for Secretay Richardson who was a very people person and came to Germantown to many all-hands meeting, the Secretaries of Energy were out of touch with engineers and scientists who worked for them.

    Dr. Chu is highly respected noble-prize winning scientist and an insder since has served as the Director of LBL. I and my collegues are reaaly looking forward to working under Dr. Chu. We are confident that DOE has bright future under him.

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