By reportedly selecting physics nobelist and head of the federal government's Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Steven Chu as the next Secretary of Energy, President-elect Obama makes it clear that he is serious about addressing the energy/climate change conundrum. As the head of the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Chu launched the Helios Project to research how to produce liquid biofuels and solar powered electricty.
"Sustainable, carbon-neutral energy is the most important scientific challenge we face today," said Chu in a 2007 Science profile. This view is clearly is in line with Obama's promise to spend $15 billion a year on alternative energy research and to create 5 million new "green collar jobs."
Earlier this week, Obama met with former Vice-President Al Gore to talk about energy and climate change. During the press conference after the meeting, Obama said, "We have the opportunity now to create jobs all across this country in all 50 states to repower America."
Of course, "repower America" is the campaign launched by Gore this past summer that aims to make the country's entire energy production carbon-neutral in just 10 years. Is the president-elect signaling something more sweeping by using that phrase?