Secretary Chu: "When you swing from the heels, you expect a few strikeouts"

Secretary of Energy plays down private sector, champions government's role in renewable energy

LAS VEGAS — Secretary of Energy Steven Chu used a baseball analogy describing renewable energy investments in Nevada, saying the government has been "investing in singles" instead of "investing in homeruns."

"We [the federal government] want to swing from the heels, and when you swing from the heels, you expect a few strikeouts," Chu said during his keynote address at the fourth annual National Clean Energy Summit.

Chu noted the "millions of investments" in Nevada through President Obama's stimulus bill and Department of Energy grants, and estimated all of the federal investments have created "2,000 jobs in Nevada."

However, data from the State of Nevada's stimulus website contradict's Chu's estimate. According to Nevada's Department of Energy, $47.2 million in federal grants through the Stimulus program has only created or saved 35.86 jobs in the state.

Chu also played down historical private sector inventions such as airplanes and computer circuits and instead championed government's role in technological advancements to support federal subisidies in the renewable industry.

"The government played an incredibly intimate role in all of the prosperity in the United States," Chu said.

Chu added that a clean energy standard, such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard established in states like Nevada, would "not pick winners" and would "not require any taxpayer money."

Chu's address officially opened the summit, held at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas. It was Chu's third year speaking at the conference.

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