E&E News (subs. req’d) has a long story today, “DOE: Parlor game of potential Chu successors begins, if prematurely.” Turns out the key word is “prematurely.”
While it’s fascinating to learn that soon-to-be-former governors like Arnold Schwarzenegger are leading candidates for the job of Energy Secretary if it opens up anytime soon, all my sources had said there were no signs that Chu was planning to leave.
Now, Politico’s Morning Energy reports:
In recent days, he has assured people in private conversations that he has no plans to leave his post at DOE anytime soon, according to a person familiar with the conversations. “Obviously Chu has been hearing the speculation about what he might do, and he specifically said that he was intending to stay,” the source tells ME.
That’s good news. Certainly the job of energy secretary is exceedingly difficult, and all the more so in the last year because of the BP oil disaster, which took up much of Chu’s time. I don’t envy his having to testify endlessly in front of a GOP House hostile to clean energy and science.
But Chu would be very hard to replace: He remains a strong internal and external (public) advocate for energy efficiency and clean energy — and climate action — in an administration that appears woefully short of Climate Hawks.