Engery Sec Chu: Americans are children, and he knows best

President Obama’s Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, says, “turn the lights off, you rotten kids!” (emphasis mine)

Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington, Dr. Chu said he didn’t think average folks had the know-how or will to to change their behavior enough to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,” Dr. Chu said. “The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.”

The administration aims to teach them—literally. The Environmental Protection Agency is focusing on real children. Partnering with the Parent Teacher Organization, the agency earlier this month launched a cross-country tour of 6,000 schools to teach students about climate change and energy efficiency.

Just so we’re clear, America… you and I, adult-joe-public, are no better than the laziest of teenagers that stare into the fridge for 15 minutes and leave their lights on all night.  Not that I know many teens that do that anyway.  In fact, think the Secretary may be insulting most American teenagers.  Especially considering the DOE itself continues to fail its energy audits.

Anyway, a spokesman has already recalibrated Secretary Chu’s statements.  Now, remember the metaphor Mr. Chu used in his previous statement… (emphasis mine)

An update: Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow added: “Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers. He was saying that we need to educate teenagers about ways to save energy. He also recognized the need to educate the broader public about how important clean energy industries are to our competitive position in the global economy. He believes public officials do have an obligation to make their case to the American people on major legislation, and that’s what he’s doing.”

Reminds me of President Obama’s, “it’s not a tax” moment from this weekend.


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