Steven Chu

Rob Portman's Solyndra: Why is the GOP's VP Darling Begging For a Bailout?
June 01, 2012

On May 31, standing in front of Solyndra’s vacant headquarters, Mitt Romney lambasted President Obama for granting the company a $528 million loan guarantee.

What Obama Should and Shouldn’t Do About High Gas Prices
March 16, 2012

During his press conference on March 6, Barack Obama remarked that there’s “no silver bullet” to stem rising gas prices in the short term—and in the view of most energy experts, he’s right. The problem, though, is that the American people don’t agree. In the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, made public the day before the president spoke, 55 percent said that the government has a “great deal” or “quite a bit” of control over gas prices.

The Odd Couple: How Two Wildly Different Congressmen Made Peace Over Privacy
March 15, 2012

On February 17, three members of Congress sent a concerned letter to Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. They were spurred by a report in The Wall Street Journal detailing how Google had deceptively tracked users of Apple’s Safari web browser “without their consent or knowledge”—and in violation of a Safari setting designed to protect against such tracking.

The Experiment
January 25, 2012

In August 2008, a week before Barack Obama went to Denver to collect his nomination, Steven Chu stepped onto a stage in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s Cox Pavilion. The 60-year-old physicist was a towering presence in his field, a Nobel Prize winner and the director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. But he was largely unknown to the Washington-centric crowd of several hundred, in town for a clean energy conference co-hosted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund.

Rep. Markey: Why Is America Rushing to Export Natural Gas?
January 05, 2012

Last month I said I thought it would be premature for the Department of Energy (DOE) to rush into authorizing massive exports of natural gas, notwithstanding the amazing recent boom in American shale gas production. My worry was that precipitous large-scale exports could tighten U.S. supplies and raise prices, with negative ramifications for domestic industrial concerns that depend on cheap gas. My thought: Wouldn’t it be preferable to re-shore good-paying manufacturing jobs rather than serve as a resource colony for the rest of the world? Seems we should be prudent here! Now, Rep.

Smart Grid, Anyone?
May 19, 2011

Owing to the wet winter in the Pacific Northwest, the Bonneville Power Administration is idling wind power capacity because too much electricity is being generated by government-owned hydropower dams. The agency can’t close the power generating turbines because the turbulence generated from the spill would be harmful to salmon. In a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu regarding the situation, Rep.

Don't Make Steven Chu Angry
June 07, 2010

You wouldn't like him when he's angry: Obama has also called in some of the many scientists on the federal payroll, led by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Chu at one point pushed the unusual idea of using gamma rays to peer into the blowout preventer to determine if its valves were closed, a technique he experimented with in graduate school while studying radioactive decay. The suggestion at first elicited snickering and "Incredible Hulk" jokes. Then they tried it, and it worked.

Gates: “Innovation, Not Insulation”
January 25, 2010

So now Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire, has weighed in, capping a week in which Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Energy Secretary Steven Chu did, too. Their timely warning: Congress--and the nation--are stiffing energy innovation research and need to get serious as the year’s budget struggles near. Gates’ remarks are the most noteworthy--and pointed.

Chu: Seriously Folks, We're In Favor Of Nuclear
January 21, 2010

Early last year, the Obama administration effectively canceled longstanding plans for a nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain. That decision wasn't exactly a surprise: On the campaign trail, Obama had promised Nevadans that he'd shutter the unpopular project (there are perks to being an electoral swing state, after all), and, of course, the current Senate majority leader hails from Nevada.

Climate Calculus: Price + Innovation = Transformation
September 29, 2009

Alright, here we go on the climate front. After nearly a year of secretive discussions, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) will release global warming legislation Wednesday intended as a “starting point” for Senate negotiations that they hope will lead to an eventual conference with the House. That’s good. Congress needs to get back to work on climate.