President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to be his Secretary of Energy.
Dr. Chu has been heavily involved in biofuels research to find alternative and more efficient feedstocks for ethanol and biodiesel production. At a 25x’25 Renewable Energy Summit earlier this year in Omaha, Chu said, “We should look at corn as a transitional crop,” but within five to 10 years he expects scientific discoveries and refining processes could improve enough to move grasses, woody substances and waste to the head of the line for making fuels.
Obama also plans to name Carol Browner to fill a new White House post overseeing energy, environmental and climate policies. Browner was Environmental Protection Agency administrator for eight years under President Bill Clinton.