Steven Chu's New Energy Vision

We talk with U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu about the Gulf oil spill and his push to make the country less dependent on fossil fuels.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu (AP)

The giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico seems to be screaming at the United States to get off fossil fuels. And fast.

If that’s going to happen, the vision of U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu will be at the heart of that effort.

Chu was not a political appointment to the Obama cabinet. He’s a Nobel Prize-winning scientist. And he has a scientist’s view of the energy crisis and its tough sister, the climate crisis.

We need a price on carbon, he says, and we need it now. Or China will win, economically. And the Earth will lose, period.

This Hour, On Point: as the oil spills, we talk with Energy Secretary Steven Chu.


Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy. He oversees 15,000 employees at the Department of Energy and a 2010 budget of $26.6 billion. In 2009, the DOE received $36.7 billion to give out in stimulus funding. Chu won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997. He is former director of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he researched renewable energy. And he is former professor of physics and molecular and cell biology at the University of California.


Read Wired’s recent profile of Secretary Chu, “The Key to Fixing Global Warming? China.”

Secretary Chu’s talks on climate change and clean energy have been popular draws (for a certain crowd) on YouTube. Here’s one:

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