United States Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu, spent his afternoon speaking to employees at Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls.
The presentation was closed to the media. According to one INL employee, Chu gave an engaging presentation to a crowd of 200 for about 30 minutes, discussing energy conservation, the growing dependency on foreign fuels, and nuclear energy.
The secretary answered media questions after the presentation.
He said higher oil prices and more environmental concerns in the future will create a need for a new industrial revolution. He said we need to reduce our carbon foot print by 80 percent, through other sources of energy such as wind, solar and, most of all, nuclear.
Chu said nuclear energy is essential. Once a leader in the field, the United States has fallen behind countries like France, Japan and Korea. It’s an important issue to the Obama administration, which has asked for a $54 billion loan to restart nuclear building activity.
Chu said there needs to be new energy infrastructure.
“There’s going to be an effort to develop those technologies, those products. The efficient homes, the efficient cities, the efficient cars … new sources of energy. And the world is going to have a market for that,” said Chu.
Earlier Monday, the secretary spoke in Michigan during a dedication ceremony for the A123 Systems battery plant, the largest lithium-ion automotive battery facility in North America. Partially funded by the Recovery Act, the plant aims to employ 3,000 and establish the U.S. as a major manufacturer of electric vehicles.