Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced he’d leave the Obama administration as soon as a successor is confirmed — reported The Associated Press.
"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," Chu said in a letter to Energy Department employees.
President Obama praised Chu for helping "move America toward real energy independence."
"Over the past four years, we have doubled the use of renewable energy, dramatically reduced our dependence on foreign oil, and put our country on a path to win the global race for clean energy jobs," Obama said. "Thanks to Steve, we also expanded support for our brightest engineers and entrepreneurs as they pursue groundbreaking innovations that could transform our energy future."