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US Energy Secretary To Step Down

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is stepping down after a tenure marked by criticism of a clean energy program.

Chu, who is a Nobel Prize winner in physics, offered his resignation to President Barack Obama Friday.

Chu was criticized by Republican lawmakers for supporting a solar-panel maker, Solyndra, which received over $500 million in federal loans and later went bankrupt.

The case has been embarrassing for the Obama administration, which had held up the company as an example of desirable "green" technology and job creation.

In a note on the White House website, President Obama wrote that Chu helped move America toward energy independence, doubled the use of renewable energy, and made progress on jobs related to clean energy.

Chu's departure follows similar moves by the interior secretary and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and will allow President Obama to create a new team to focus on matters of energy and the environment.



Chu is just the latest member of Mr. Obama's cabinet to step down, following the secretaries of state, defense, and treasury.

Chu says he will stay on the job until at least the end of February.

In 1997, Chu was one of three recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics for developing ways to cool and trap atoms using laser light.

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