White House circulated plan to replace Chu

WASHINGTON (AP) ? Top officials at the White House circulated a plan calling for the ouster of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other top Energy Department officials as the administration braced for a political storm brewing over the failing solar energy company Solyndra.

An email from a clean-energy activist and former official in President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign said Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, was a brilliant man but “not perfect” for other critical DOE missions, including creating jobs. The email from Dan Carol, was circulated by then-Chief of Staff Peter Rouse and seen by more than a dozen senior White House officials.

The emails were released Friday by the White House in response to a subpoena by House Republicans.

A White House spokesman says the plan was not taken very seriously.