Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced his resignation in an email to employees Friday morning after heading the agency for the past four years. That letter, in which Chu outlines the agency's accomplishments made under his tenure, was posted on the Energy Department site later Friday. Here are a few select passages:
I’ve always been inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, who articulated his Dream of an America where people are judged not by skin color but “by the content of their character.” In the scientific world, people are judged by the content of their ideas.
Advances are made with new insights, but the final arbitrator of any point of view are experiments that seek the unbiased truth, not information cherry picked to support a particular point of view. The power of our work is derived from this foundation.
This is the approach I’ve brought to the Department of Energy, where I believe we should be judged not by the money we direct to a particular State or district, company, university or national lab, but by the character of our decisions. The Department of Energy serves the country as a Department of Science, a Department of Innovation, and a Department of Nuclear Security.
I have worked each day to move the Department in a direction where the political leadership and highest levels of career managers have the intellectual curiosity and wisdom to learn from the people who reported to them and where the subject matter experts – which should include managers at the highest levels – as well as employees at our national laboratories welcome their counsel and help. I grew up and matured in organizations where a graduate student or staff scientist could have a discussion with a company department head, a professor, a national lab director and be heard, not because of their rank in the organization, but because of the quality of their ideas...
Chu's letter did not directly address the major controversy that embroiled the agency under his tenure -- the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a California solar panel company that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Energy Department.
Read the full text of Chu's letter at the official Energy Department site. President Obama also hailed Chu in a statement, saying the Nobel Laurete in Physics (1967) "helped move America towards real energy independence". Chu's