Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held its hearing for the nomination of Steven Chu to serve as Energy Secretary in the Obama cabinet. Chu told the Senators that his leadership would focus on tackling climate change and encouraging renewable energy technologies. Chu said renewable energy is something we really have to work on as quickly as possible.
Chu's comments signaled a major shift in the department's traditional portfolio. Previously the department centered its attention primarily on nuclear weapons and nuclear science programs. As a result, the Energy Department could become a primary leading entity in realizing the energy and climate goals President-elect Barack Obama says will be among his top priorities.
Republicans and Democrats both praised Chu. A confirmation vote on Chu will take place after the Obama inauguration on Jan. 20 and his confirmation is expected.