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The Secretary of the Department of Energy, Steven Chu, gave the commencement address at CalTech on Friday, and electric vehicle advocates could find something to cheer about from his words of advice to the Class of 2009. Plug-in supporter Paul Scott went to the ceremony, and was happy ot hear Chu say that we needed to prepare for the "inevitable transition to electricity as the energy for our personal transportation." Scott writes:

Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a huge, $786.5 million program to speed development and commercialization of biofuels today. The money comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is intended for the following specific projects:

When Steven Chu was nominated to be the new Secretary of Energy, the general sense was that it was great to have a scientist making some decisions about energy policy. Some, though, questioned whether he had the skills to run the bureaucracy that is the Department of Energy. After a month or so on the job, the answer seems to be yes. At the very least, it looks like Chu is ready to scrap the parts of the bureaucracy that prevent things from getting done.

The US Secretary of Energy is not exactly a glamorous position. I mean, go ahead and name the current one. Give up? It's Samuel Bodman, whose name we've had on AutoblogGreen with some regularity and still I needed to Wikipedia the position to recall his name. But the next Secretary might become a bit better known thanks to the issues that he'll be dealing with as we shift from oil to alternatives. Today, the news is out that President-elect Barack Obama has picked Nobel-prize winning physicist S

Biofuels was one of the major topics that surfaced at the American Association for the Advancement of Science last week. Nobel laureate Steven Chu called the need for alternative fuels "very pressing" as the economics of powering autos with gas is four times as expensive as plug-in electricity. Experts say biofuels will have a major impact on the energy economy within the next decade as other technologies, such as nuclear fusion, are too far away from commercial uses.