I am sorry to report that Sue Tierney will no longer be a candidate for Deputy Secretary of Energy. She sent out an email today to friends indicating that was her decision.
She would have been a first rate Deputy (see Chu at Energy/Enviro Ball: “We are on a path that scares me.” Plus Sue Tierney for Deputy, and stuff I leaned at DOE, Part 2).
The email was private so I won’t discuss its contents. I will say that just months as acting assistant secretary in 1997 was pretty much all I could take of that unbelievably demanding and stressful job. And the workload — and travel — gets more demanding and stressful the higher up you go. Deputy is two levels above assistant secretary, so I honestly don’t know how anybody manages those jobs — and it is no surprise to me that anyone ultimately decides it isn’t right for them.
I don’t think it will be particularly easy to replace her multiple skill sets and talents — but it is absolute critical that Steven Chu pick someone who is an energy expert, preferably someone with some DOE experience, and preferably someone who can help on the crucial issue of transmission (see “A smart, green grid is needed to enable a near-term renewable revolution“).