Dec 10, 2008
Chu shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics and is a former chairman of the physics department at Stanford University in California and head of the electronics research laboratory at Bell Labs.
The Lawrence Berkeley Web site says Chu was an early advocate for finding scientific solutions to climate change and has guided the laboratory on a new mission to become the world leader in alternative and renewable energy research, particularly the development of carbon-neutral sources of energy.
That experience will be useful as the next energy secretary, as Obama wants to spend billions of dollars to promote alternative energy sources and create millions of green energy jobs.
A spokesman for the Lawrence Berkeley laboratory offered no comment on the prospect of Chu becoming the next energy secretary. Chu is traveling abroad in Asia and Europe and will be back at work on Monday, he said.
Chu will have to work closely with a new White House council that would coordinate energy and climate policy among the various federal agencies.
Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner is the leading contender to head that panel, according to a source close to the Obama transition team.
Browner, a principal at global strategy firm The Albright Group LLC, heads Obama's advisory team on energy and the environment.
(Writing by Tom Doggett and John Whitesides, editing by David Alexander and Doina Chiacu)