Steven Chu has left the building

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At the DOE, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist oversaw expanded federal support for low-carbon energy, and defended it against GOP attacks when some of the efforts stumbled.

Chu announced his intention to leave the DOE in early February. Click here for more E2-Wire coverage of Chu’s sometimes rocky tenure at the department.

He was the longest-serving secretary in DOE history.

Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman has stepped into Chu’s shoes on an acting basis while senators get around to confirming Ernest Moniz, the nominee to replace Chu.

Moniz, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist, is likely to win full Senate approval soon after sailing through the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in a bipartisan 21-1 vote last week.

Poneman’s first day as acting secretary will include a Capitol Hill event with the directors of DOE’s various “Energy Innovation Hubs” that were established under Chu. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) is hosting the event.

The department put together a retrospective of Chu’s tenure here.