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Clean energy puts U.S. ahead, Chu says

Clean energy puts U.S. ahead, Chu says
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu speaks with journalists during a roundtable discussion at the U.s. American embassy in Beijing on November 17, 2010. The sharing of clean energy technologies by the United States and China will bring great opportunities in developing sustainable green energies, said Chu. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Energy Department needs a holistic approach in researching clean energy if it's to out-compete the rest of the world, the energy secretary said.

U.S. President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address said the United States needed to invest heavily in research, "especially clean energy technology," to remain at the top of the geopolitical hierarchy.

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U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a subcommittee on energy and water at the House Committee on Appropriations that his department issued a budget request of $29.5 billion for 2012 to support Obama's objectives.

"To reach our energy goals, we must take a portfolio approach to research and development: pursuing several research strategies that have proven to be successful in the past," he said in prepared remarks.

Research and development targeting energy efficiency programs, he said, wouldn't only help consumers save money but conserve energy as well.

Chu said the Department of Energy wasn't taking a "kitchen sink" approach to investments but a "360-degree view" of energy challenges.

"The United States faces a choice: will we out-compete the rest of the world or will we fall behind?" he said. "To lead the world in clean energy, we must act now. We can't afford not to."

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