Steven Chu resigned as Energy Secretary in a letter to President Obama on Friday, February 1.
Obama uttered undue accolades toward Chu as he resigned, indicating his “unique understanding of both the urgent challenge presented by climate change and the tremendous opportunity that clean energy represents for our economy” according to the Washington Post.
Obama had it wrong on both counts. Regarding climate change, the challenge is neither urgent nor accurate. The world hasn’t warmed in nearly two decades and whatever change might be occurring is occurring naturally. Little if any contribution to global warming comes from human activity.
Regarding clean energy, our economy funded repeated failures such as Solyndra. To label such enormous waste as opportunity is a polyannaish perspective for sure.
Stephen Chu earned his merits in government science by promoting the president’s agenda on so-called renewable energy. He threw billions of taxpayer-funded Energy Department dollars on wind and solar to support the image of America hurtling itself toward energy independence.
Such policies actually set the economy back seriously, with billions in government-backed loans lost to bankruptcies while the list of clean energy companies gone belly up piled high.
Solyndra led the list of spectacular failures in Stephen Chu’s tenure. Chu threw $528 million at the company that laid off its 1,100 workers in less than a year.
Solyndra was but one of many failures that Chu backed with a whopping $35 billion in loan guarantees that guaranteed only that taxpayers would lose and energy independence from green alternatives was a fable.
Without dwelling on failures, Chu is cited with the success of large solar projects and larger-than-gigantic wind farms in California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Maine. It is in the eye of the beholder whether these projects can be called successful when taking into account the desecration of the landscapes they occupy and huge expense, inefficiency, and intermittency of the energy that they produce.
Regarding Chu, why would anyone believe that a scientist who never spent a day in business, rather passing his career in the rarified atmosphere of Bell Labs and Berkeley, should be successful when plunked down in a huge government bureaucracy with a political mission? Why would anyone believe that could work?
Contrast Chu's credentials with venture capital managers who succeed or fail based on their ability to find the most promising new companies that warrant investment based on technical and business merit, not political influence.
Government doles out taxpayers money based on politics not on business merit. The predictable result was that Chu’s investment batting average was zero, but he batted 1000 in wasting taxpayers’ money -- or should we say taxpayers’ kids and grandkids money -- that they will need to pay back. Could anyone seriously expect anything different than the total failure he became?
Yet, accolades for Chu continue to spew from the left.
Stephen Chu can now return his attention to physics instead of politics. As a Nobel Prize winner in that hallowed discipline, he may be better qualified to study the nature of energy than to administer its policies.