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Obama Energy Secretary Steven Chu Resigning
The Associated Press | February 01, 2013 | 04:25 PM EST

Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the Nobel-winning physicist who survived the uproar after the solar energy company Solyndra went bankrupt, is stepping down.

Chu, 64, offered his resignation to President Barack Obama in a letter Friday. He said he will stay on at least until the end of February and may stay until a successor is confirmed.

Chu's departure had been widely expected and follows announcements by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson and Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that they are leaving.

The White House said no decisions have been made on replacements for any of the environment and energy jobs but said Obama's priorities will remain unchanged. Potential replacements for Chu include former North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire.

Chu, a former director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, had little political experience before taking the energy post in 2009.

He drew fire from Republicans who criticized his handling of a $528 million federal loan to solar panel maker Solyndra , which later went bankrupt, laying off its 1,100 workers.

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