President Obama has lost even more diversity in his cabinet with the resignation of Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Chu’s infamously said in a 2008 interview with the Wall Street Journal that “somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”
“I no longer share that view,” Chu told a Senate hearing last March. “Of course we don’t want the price of gasoline to go up. We want it to go down.”
In a very long letter touting administration successes, Chu told Energy Department employees the news today. Chu said he informed Obama of his decision “a few days after the election.”
“I began my message talking about my vision of what I wanted to do with the Department. Some of those goals have been realized, and we have planted many seeds together,” he said. “Just as today’s boom in shale gas production was made possible by Department of Energy research from 1978 to 1991, some of the most significant work may not be known for decades. What matters is that our country will reap the benefits of what we have started.”
Obama issued a statement thanking Chu for his service.
“As a Nobel Prize winning scientist, Steve brought to the Energy Department a unique understanding of both the urgent challenge presented by climate change and the tremendous opportunity that clean energy represents for our economy,” the president said. “And during his time as Secretary, Steve helped my Administration move America towards real energy independence. Over the past four years, we have doubled the use of renewable energy, dramatically reduced our dependence on foreign oil, and put our country on a path to win the global race for clean energy jobs.”
The Institute for Energy Research had a snarkier farewell: