US energy secretary to step down
Washington, Feb 1 (IANS) US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu Friday announced his intention to resign to end a four-year tenure with the Barack Obama administration, Xinhua reported.
Chu made the announcement in a letter to department employees, saying he intends to resign once a successor is confirmed.
"While I will always remain dedicated to the missions of the department, I informed the US president of my decision a few days after the election that Jean and I were eager to return to California," Chu wrote in the letter.
The "Jean" referred to is Chu's wife.
"I would like to return to an academic life of teaching and research but will still work to advance the missions that we have been working on together for the last four years."
But in the short term, Chu said he plans to stay on past the end of February, and may stay on longer in order to "leave the department in the hands of the new secretary".
Obama has not yet announced Chu's successor, but reports speculated former North Dakota senator Byron Dorgan, former Colorado governor Bill Ritter, former Washington governor Chris Gregoire and former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm could be on the shortlist.