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Chat About Energy with Secretary Steven Chu Wednesday

Energy Secretary Steven Chu is taking questions live Wednesday. Here's what we'll be asking.

A couple of weeks ago, Energy.gov got a makeover, and the new media folks at the Department of Energy announced a few new running features for the site. One of these is a series of live web-chats with Department experts called Energy Matters. The first Energy Matters chat is tomorrow, and it's with the head honcho himself: Secretary Steven Chu.

The announcement:


After the State of the Union address this week, Secretary Steven Chu will host an online town hall to discuss President Obama's clean energy agenda.

We hope you'll join us this Wednesday, January 26 at 12:45pm EST, at energy.gov/livechat.

Two weeks ago, Secretary Chu asked what you most hoped to see the Department discussing. You responded with more topics than I have room to list, ranging from electric bicycles and LED lighting, to nuclear power, high-speed rail and energy independence.

And so we're happy to say that Wednesday's town hall won't just be a single one-hour event, but will be kicking off a new year-long series called Energy Matters, in which experts from the Department will talk about the issues you've asked to hear more about, and answer your questions live online.

If you have questions for the Secretary ahead of Wednesday's event, please email them to newmedia@hq.doe.gov, post them on DOE's Facebook page, or tweet @energy with the hashtag #chu. You'll also be able to ask additional questions live during the event.

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It would be great to pepper the secretary with enough substantive, quality questions that he has to answer the tough ones. Mine will be:

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  • Congressional Republicans are threatening to cut even the modest funds promised to weatherization programs. Seeing as household efficiency is the lowest hanging fruit in our national energy challenge, and new funds mights be dissolving, is the DOE working with any economists or banking experts on new financial structures that could help lower the upfront burden of weatherizing homes?
  • Would you prefer to see increased subsidies of clean, renewable energy sources, or to eliminate energy subsidies across the board?
  • What are the biggest hurdles in developing energy storage and transmission capable of capturing, moving, and storing solar and wind power to provide baseload supply to match our country's demands?
  • You said recently that we're at a "Sputnik moment" with China and clean tech. What's the DOE's plan to stay competitive when the political reality in Washington is not to spend on energy R&D?
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Again, the chat will be at Energy.gov/livechat. Please feel free to borrow my questions. The more times he hears these, the better, in my opinion.

Photo: Secretary Chu's Facebook page.