Planet Gore

Obama Adivser Tried to Get Chu Removed


Months before Solyndra’s collapse, a former high-ranking official in President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign called for Steven Chu’s ouster, saying the Energy secretary lacked the chops for turning green technology into green jobs.

“Secretary Chu is a wonderful and brilliant man, but he is not perfect for the other critical DOE mission: deploying existing technologies at scale and creating jobs,” Dan Carol, the research director of the 2008 Obama campaign who now works as director of Multi-State Initiatives for Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, wrote in a February email to White House counselor Peter Rouse that was released Friday by a government source. At the time, Carol was a clean technology fellow for the New Democratic Network.

Carol cautioned that the new secretary should have political distance from the administration, lest it get “caught up in the wave of GOP attacks that are surely coming over Solyndra and other inside DOE deals that have gone to Obama donors and have underperformed.”

He conceded Chu could stay with an altered mission and also suggested the secretary be moved over to lead the department’s network of national laboratories.

But Carol was adamant that Deputy Secretary Dan Poneman, Chu’s second-in-command, and Henry Kelly, who oversees the department’s renewable energy office, had to go.

“At a minimum, Poneman and Kelly need to leave,” Carol wrote, saying the pair was “scaring away the talent we need.”

The plan seems to have gone nowhere, but not before Rouse sent Carol’s housecleaning suggestions up the chain of command.

The rest here.

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