The Washington Times - January 17, 2013, 06:51PM

Energy Secretary Steven Chu, whose stormy tenure was marred by his support for loans to Solyndra before the solar-panel maker went bankrupt, will announce his departure from the Obama administration as soon as next week.

Bloomberg news, citing two sources, said a replacement for Mr. Chu has not been identified.

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His departure will leave the administration with multiple vacancies in top administration jobs dealing with energy policy. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson also are leaving.

Mr. Chu, who said in 2008 that gas prices in the U.S. should rise to European levels to encourage fuel efficiency, faced criticism through much of Mr. Obama’s first term over his support of Solyndra’s $535 million U.S. loan guarantee and other clean-energy projects.