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Obama Selects Nobel Winner Chu to Run Energy Dept.

By Steven Mufson and Philip Rucker
President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who heads the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to be the next Energy Secretary, Democratic sources said today. He also has picked veteran regulators to fill out his environmental and climate team.

Obama plans to name Carol Browner, who led the Environmental Protection Agency for eight years under President Clinton, to fill a new White House post overseeing energy, environmental and climate policies, the sources said.

Obama has also settled on Lisa P. Jackson, chief of staff to New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) and former head of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, to head the EPA. Nancy Sutley, a deputy mayor of Los Angeles for energy and environment, will chair the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

The son of highly educated Chinese immigrants, Chu won the Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work in the "development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light."

But, in an interview last year with The Post, Chu said that he began to get more interested in energy and climate change several years ago. "I was following it just as a citizen and getting increasingly alarmed," he said. "Many of our best basic scientists realize that this is getting down to a crisis situation."

He sought and won the top job at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in order to focus on energy issues. Chu is in London and was unavailable for comment, but the physicist has been, in the words on his Web site, on a "mission" to make the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory "the world leader in alternative and renewable energy research, particularly the development of carbon-neutral sources of energy."

Posted at 6:36 PM ET on Dec 10, 2008  | Category:  Cabinet
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"eggzactly... let the flat earther's tell us how pumping 54 trillion ton's of carbonates into the atmosphere would result in "no effect"......

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | December 10, 2008 8:05 PM "
----------
Isn't that what the hole in the ozone is for?

Posted by: JRM2 | December 11, 2008 5:04 PM

Posted by: ExpressReader
"rush_n_crush,

"Yes, I'm a Chinese American. Why would I pretend to be one if I am not? :-)""

JUST RESPONDING TO YOUR QUERRY AS TO WHY YOU MAY BE A PRETENDER.

"It's sad that you are such an angry soul."

I AM NOT ANGRY; I AM MERELY STATING THE FACTS. IT ONLY BECOMES ANGRY TO MANY PEOPLE'S POV BECAUSE THEY WANT TO PERPETRATE THE FRAUD THAT THIS A POST-RACIAL SOCIETY--WHICH IT DEFINITELY IS NOT--AND THAT RACISM DOES NOT EXIST, JUST BECAUSE OBAMA GOT ELECTED.

YOU CAN BE PROUD--IF YOU ARE REALLY CHINESE--THAT'S FINE. BUT YOU CANNOT DENY THAT THERE IS A "BAMBOO CEILING". IF YOU DO, THEN YOU REALLY ARE PRETENDING.

Posted by: rush_n_crush | December 11, 2008 1:41 PM

rush_n_crush,

It's sad that you are such an angry soul.

"BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY HOW RACIST CHINESE HATERS TRY TO SET-UP THEIR AGENDAS"

That may apply to you too. You were here to make Chinese Americans look bad?

"YOU NEED TO GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND."

If you wanted to show off your language skills, you succeeded. But it brought my respect for you to a new low. HOw could you use this kind of sh!t to call a person who just happened to disagree with you?


Posted by: ExpressReader | December 11, 2008 12:56 PM

Geezer:

By who's account is Bodman the best Energy Secretary ever, and why? What has the DOE accomplished since 2004 that makes him the greatest?

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | December 11, 2008 8:45 AM

It's sad to think of how many people are more impressed by a Super Bowl ring than a Nobel Prize in physics. The scientific community doesn't seem to appreciate its great communicators and teachers, but some high profile public science advocacy would be really good about now. Hopefully Chu will be able to do some of that.

Posted by: xaxton | December 10, 2008 11:18 PM

Posted by: ExpressReader
"rush_n_crush,

Yes, I'm a Chinese American. Why would I pretend to be one if I am not? :-)"

BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY HOW RACIST CHINESE HATERS TRY TO SET-UP THEIR AGENDAS

Well, there may be not many Asian Americans in American politics....You just need to be patient."

IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS OR THE FIELD OF POLITICS; IT HAS TO DO WITH RACISM, AND THE FACT THAT IT HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR DECADES. THERE IS EVEN A POSTER BELOW WHO ACCUSES DR. CHU AS BEING A SPY FOR THE PRC--WHICH IS TYPICAL, SINCE MOST NON-ASIAN AMERICANS CONSIDER US TO BE PERPETUAL ALIANS.

WE ARE HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD IN ALL FIELDS, AND WE ARE NOT IN MANAGERIAL POSITIONS UNLESS IT IS OUR OWN COMPANIES, REGARDLESS OF OUR MULTITUDE OF PHD'S, EXPERIENCE, OR EXPERTISE--ALL OF WHICH IS A STATISTICAL FACT.

YOU NEED TO GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND.

Posted by: rush_n_crush | December 10, 2008 11:06 PM

rush_n_crush,

Yes, I'm a Chinese American. Why would I pretend to be one if I am not? :-)

Well, there may be not many Asian Americans in American politics. But that may or may not have anything to do with racism. Asian immigrants devote too much of themselves to other fields such as academy and professional. I think that's one reason you don't see many of them in the congress and the executive branch. The good thing is that may be changing too. You just need to be patient.

Posted by: ExpressReader | December 10, 2008 10:32 PM

Posted by: htruman
"rush_n_crush -- stay off the crack cocain "Rush". It appears to be affecting your sanity."

SPOKEN LIKE THE TRUE RACIST IT IS THAT YOU ARE.

Posted by: rush_n_crush | December 10, 2008 10:28 PM

As an American with multiple roots going back to the 1600's, I am delighted by this appointment.

I'm delighted first of all because the person named to the office is eminently qualified.

I'm delighted second of all because the person named to the office is of an ethnicity which "enjoys" racial discrimination in this nation.

Were it not for those whose race is cause for grief even today in our midst, we'd be a much poorer nation - lacking a transcontinental railroad, to name a case having to do with the current point.

It's really, really unfortunate that people who grew up in the lap of luxury for no other reason than that they happen to have been born white in the USA make themselves a source of grief to others who *earn* high honors in this place where we are *all* (except Native Americans) immigrants.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 10, 2008 10:19 PM

I hate to break it to all of you who allow preconceived notions to substitute for fact. The current Sec. of Energy, Bodman, is not an attorney. He was a chemcial engineer with acedemic and business credntials. He is accepted as the best Sec. DOE has ever had.

Dr. Chu was not Obama's first choice , maybe not even #6. The others, who included lawyers, turned it down.

Dr. Chu may know the science, but can he adminsister, can he handle the politics of DC, can he regulate, and can he come up to speed on the 75% of DOE that is not Office of Science?

If he is 3/4 as good as Bodman, DOE should do ok. That is if Carol Browner will let him blow his nose without asking permission.

Posted by: OldGeezer | December 10, 2008 10:14 PM

JRM2:

No, I just deny that it is 100% caused by humans (at least that's not proven yet ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 10, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------

Wow! Imagine that!!! JakeD_ _ $$ doesn't believe in climate change. Even if it exists it's a win-win situation in JakeD_ _ $$'s mind becuase if you kill off all the people on planet Earth there won't be anymore abortions and than JC will be super happy with JakeD_ _$$.

Yahooooooo! Every fetus is sacred... JakeD and his clan will abort'em after they're born.

Posted by: htruman | December 10, 2008 10:09 PM

rush_n_crush -- stay off the crack cocain "Rush". It appears to be affecting your sanity.

Posted by: htruman | December 10, 2008 10:03 PM

Posted by: ExpressReader:

"As a Chinese American, I am proud of Mr. Chu's accomplishments and very happy that our new president picks him as Secretary of DOE."

ARE YOU SERIOUS? ARE YOU REALLY CHINESE?

THIS WHOLE SITUATION JUST PROVES THE EXISTENCE OF THE "BAMBOO CEILING", AND THAT WE CHINESE AND ALL OTHER ASIANS ARE HELD TO A MUCH HIGHER STANDARD THAN THE REST OF THE AMERICAN POPULATION.

RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL IN THE USA. GO SS BARACK OBAMA!

Posted by: rush_n_crush | December 10, 2008 9:59 PM

RACISM IS SO INCREDIBLY HUGE IN THE USA, THAT THE ONLY WAY THAT AN ASIAN IN AMERICA CAN BE IN OBAMA'S CABINET, IS THAT HE HAD TO HAVE WON THE ABSOLUTE MOST PRESTIGIOUS AWARD ON THE PLANET, AN NOBEL PRIZE.

ANYONE ELSE JUST NEEDS A POLITICAL HEARTBEAT!

Posted by: rush_n_crush | December 10, 2008 9:45 PM

As a Chinese American, I am proud of Mr. Chu's accomplishments and very happy that our new president picks him as Secretary of DOE. All that said, I will support our president-elect with my full heart with or without Mr. Chu's nomination. Wish them the best.

Posted by: ExpressReader | December 10, 2008 9:40 PM

China won't need spies.

Posted by: EliPeyton | December 10, 2008 9:21 PM

merkytimes wrote:

"The son of highly educated Chinese immigrants, Chu won the Nobel Prize in 1997..."

What is this supposed to imply? Most Chinese immigrants are imbeciles? Or is that you can't make it to the top your chosen profession if you have just blue collar, work-a-day parents ?

Next you'll be telling us about how 'clean' and 'articulate' Obama is....
---------------------------

Maybe it was just meant as a sentence stating what is the case, and wasn't meant to imply anything.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 10, 2008 8:33 PM

Given that DOE is the single bigger sponsor of R&D in the basic sciences, having a Nobelaureate in Physics, who is also head of LBNL sounds like a step in the right direction to me. Man, it's nice to have again have a president who respects science.

Posted by: awesom0 | December 10, 2008 8:21 PM

Just like JFK, Obama is bringing in the best and brightest.

Too bad the Republicans have tried to dumb down politics and have pooh poohed the importance of smart people developing and executing smart policies. Brownie over at FEMA was one of the boys, and that's all that counted- to the Bush people.

Glad that our national nightmare is over.

Big War. Big Tobacco. Big Oil. You greedy buggers are done. Go to the wilderness and try and find another way to make a buck other that killing people and the environment.

Posted by: jrob822 | December 10, 2008 8:21 PM

officermancuso -
No I wasn't, but thanks for the compliment.

robinhood2-
Are you seriously comparing a Nobel Prize winning Physicist who runs a DOE lab and is up for Energy secretary to the former president of the Arabian Horse Society being appointed to FEMA?

Not having high-profile political experience may or may not be a bad thing for Chu, but come on - your comparison isn't even reasonable.

Posted by: biercuk | December 10, 2008 8:17 PM

"The son of highly educated Chinese immigrants, Chu won the Nobel Prize in 1997..."

What is this supposed to imply? Most Chinese immigrants are imbeciles? Or is that you can't make it to the top your chosen profession if you have just blue collar, work-a-day parents ?

Next you'll be telling us about how 'clean' and 'articulate' Obama is....

Posted by: merkytimes | December 10, 2008 8:11 PM

Tess6

It's a bittersweet victory for you...

Chu is actually a Professor at Stanford, and he's been on extended leave to run LBNL.

Posted by: biercuk | December 10, 2008 8:11 PM

Good choice, in my opinion. I worked for Argonne National Laboratory for about 18 years, and during that time we were treated to a steady stream of DOE secretaries. I suppose that most were lawyers. There were a few technically educated secretaries in the early days (Dixie Ray comes to mind), and also one former dentist if I remember correctly. Also one Admiral. A physicist, and especially a Nobel Prize winner, would be a welcome change. Most likely. I have to remember that there is one other person educated in the nuclear energy field who also has a Nobel Prize. But he would be disqualified because he tended to say "nukier" or something like that. Among other reasons.

Posted by: billmosby | December 10, 2008 8:10 PM

Hiring more smart people? Just what is Obama trying to prove??

[Maybe that smart people can run things better than dumb people?!]

Posted by: thrh | December 10, 2008 8:08 PM

Hard to argue with a Nobel scientist for any Cabinet position, and DOE is going to be big player in the coming days.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | December 10, 2008 8:07 PM

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | December 10, 2008 8:06 PM


Don't get me started on global warming again ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 10, 2008 7:24 PM |

==================================

eggzactly... let the flat earther's tell us how pumping 54 trillion ton's of carbonates into the atmosphere would result in "no effect"......

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | December 10, 2008 8:05 PM

biercuk, are you by any chance a former student of Carl G. Hempel? In any case, I like your argument.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 10, 2008 7:58 PM

robinhood2 wrote:
"This guy must have something on the ball... At least he'll know the language. But again a guy that has no experience at anything. Just like the joker that ran New Orleans into the ground. Brown?"

Stephen Chu has been running the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a very large research organization. Anyone who can run a place full of egomaniac physicists has more than something on the ball.

And, he won a Nobel Prize in Physics. He wants to use science to help solve energy problems. I understand this is the complete opposite of the Bush administration, which looked on science as the work of the devil, but it sure is refreshing.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | December 10, 2008 7:57 PM

Rut roh. A Nobel Prize winner in Department of Energy? That'll *really* set off Frank Rich.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 10, 2008 7:56 PM

Take a look at the other global warming thread (I posted a link to over 650 International Scientists who dispute the man-made aspect : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 10, 2008 7:54 PM

JakeD-
Sorry to burst your bubble, but in science nothing can be proven.

That only happens in math.

All one can do in science is make a conjecture and test it experimentally. Any data contradicting that conjecture either have to be explained, or the conjecture has to be modified.

Right now the evidence all points to human actions influencing the global climate system. There are no data which contradict this thesis. There are, however, alternate theories with varying degrees of empirical support.

Posted by: biercuk | December 10, 2008 7:52 PM

This guy must have something on the ball... At least he'll know the language. But again a guy that has no experience at anything.

Just like the joker that ran New Orleans into the ground. Brown?

Posted by: robinhood2 | December 10, 2008 7:48 PM

JRM2:

No, I just deny that it is 100% caused by humans (at least that's not proven yet ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 10, 2008 7:44 PM

Both picks appear good.

Posted by: RedBird27 | December 10, 2008 7:40 PM

Yes, and go Cal.

Posted by: Tess6 | December 10, 2008 7:38 PM

What? Huh? My head turns like a curious dog. What? You mean the guy isn't an attorney? But, but, Bush only appointed attorneys to important cabinet positions. I mean, what does this mean? What could a Nobel winning physicist possibly know about energy?

Come on, you're joking. He has a JD, right?

Posted by: martiniano | December 10, 2008 7:35 PM

JakeD, don't tell me you are one of those people who deny global warming as being partially caused by human activity.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 10, 2008 7:34 PM

Real Brother here.

Another fine choice. Shows again that Obama is simply a genius. Way to go.

TKCAL

Posted by: Realbrother86 | December 10, 2008 7:33 PM

Best President EVER!

I'll bet all the flat earthers are steaming mad.

Maybe they should invest in tinfoil hats to keep their brains safe while they wander in the desert for the next forty years with their comrades in the RNC.

Posted by: WillSeattle | December 10, 2008 7:31 PM

Don't get me started on global warming again ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 10, 2008 7:24 PM

Intelligence trumps same-old-same-old political patronage. Now that is change that I voted to make happen.

Posted by: gandalfthegrey | December 10, 2008 7:21 PM

I am seriously happy that Obama picked an actual scientist for Energy Secretary. Well done!


Posted by: outlawtorn103 | December 10, 2008 7:10 PM

Some one who understands thermodynamics is going to run be energy secretary! Yippee! Ya hoo! This is the best news in years.

Posted by: SuperPants | December 10, 2008 7:10 PM

This man is literally being hired to invent the energy future of the world.

Damn. That just takes my breath away.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | December 10, 2008 6:58 PM

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