Chu Vows to Boost Energy Efficiency

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2009 5:34 PM CST
Steven Chu shakes hands with Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., as Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., second from left, and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., right, look on.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Energy Secretary-designate Steven Chu told a Senate panel today that he would pursue an expansion of nuclear and clean coal power if confirmed, Politico reports. Chu had been criticized for calling coal “my worst nightmare.” Barack Obama has also been vague about his nuclear energy policy. But while accepting the need to pursue all domestic energy options, Chu stressed that efficiency was the best route in the short term.

“We will work very hard to bring up technologies as quickly as possible,” Chu said at the confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “But I do think the best thing we can do is work on energy efficiency. That remains lowest-hanging fruit at this time.”