U.S. energy secretary in Rochester, talking renewablesby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
Robbinsdale, Minn. — The nation's energy secretary used a union hall in Rochester this Monday to continue his push for renewable energy. The nation's energy secretary used a union hall in Rochester this Monday to continue his push for renewable energy.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu watched a group of union electrical workers train on scaffolding - to mimic work they'd do inside a towering wind turbine.
Chu said re-defining work like this could actually help make the nation a leader again by teaching new skills for new industries.
"America has an opportunity to take industrial leadership, technological leadership and high-technology manufacturing leadership back again," Chu said.
Chu also toured an ethanol plant developed in Welcome, Minnesota that's small enough to be portable. Chu also looked over three cars that MSU-Mankato students made to run on solar and electric power.
Chu said projects like these will help the U.S. remain a leader in what is a still-developing industry.
"Someone asked the great hockey player Wayne Gretsky why he was so good, and he said 'I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it's been,'" Chu said. "So this vision 20 years from now is where the puck is going to be."
Much of the national energy debate has focused on a cap-and-trade plan for greenhouse gas emissions that has passed the U.S. House but not the Senate.