The ugly tanking of government-funded solar-energy company Solyndra has many people questioning whether Energy Secretary Steven Chu can handle the job, reports Politico.
"Just because you are a Nobel Prize-winning physicist doesn't mean you'd be a good orthopedic surgeon," criticized a Bush-era Energy Department official. "They're different skill sets."
The White House publicly supported Chu on Friday, but criticism is growing that Chu's team overemphasizes science over policy and politics. "Impressive credentials, but sadly miscast for the rough and tumble, oft unforgiving world of oil and energy markets and its cast of malign actors," writes author Raymond Learsy on the Huffington Post. "The great irony, the big critique (of Solyndra) is the suggestion of too much politics and political influence, when in fact the realities on this might be exactly the opposite, that there was too much science and too little intuition," an anonymous environmentalist tells Politico. (Read more Department of Energy stories.)