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Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is to relinquish his post. His is the latest defection from President Obama's cabinet as the administration transitions to its second term.
In a lengthy letter to department employees published on its website, Chu enumerated a number of the organization's achievements under his leadership. Many of these were focused on the advancement of renewable energy, for which the outgoing secretary is known for being an advocate.
That has engendered its share of controversy, particularly in the wake of the high-profile bankruptcy of Solyndra in September 2011 after the company received $535 million in loan guarantees from the department.