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At this writing, Energy Secretary Steven Chu hasn't said he's leaving his post… but plenty on Capitol Hill seem to think he will.
· The Hill -- Energy Department, EPA nominations may be on tap
· Bloomberg -- Energy Secretary Chu Said to Plan Departure From Cabinet
And don't get us wrong; we're not trying to rush him out the door. We give Chu high marks for a lot of what he's done as DOE boss – for instance, using stimulus money to create the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). But he joined the DOE as a Nobel prize-winning scientist – or "self-styled nerd" as the National Journal put it – and not a politician. And there's no escaping politics in D.C.
Which begs the question: If Chu does leave, where should the next Energy Secretary come from?
· A research laboratory?
· The utility industry?
· The energy technology industry?
· What about the policy or regulatory world?
· Do we want a career politician?
· Someone already on the DOE staff?
And which skill set is most important?
· Oil and gas?
· Electric power?
· Policy, regulation and law?
There are certainly lots of pros and cons no matter how you slice and dice this one. We hope you'll jump over to our discussion forum to share your thoughts and to see what others have to say.