QUOTEBOX:Experts discuss Obama energy secretary pick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Nobel physics laureate Steven Chu to fill the position of Energy Secretary in his cabinet.

Here are comments from energy analysts about Obama’s nominee:

Edward L. Morse, managing director and chief economist of LCM Commodities:

“The appointments so far mean that the Obama administration is taking seriously carbon reduction and environmental policy goals and scientific data to be used to promote nuclear energy and ways to promote storage of nuclear waste.

“I think that combined with the appointments in the White House, they are all reflective of the determination to make sure that his campaign goals get implemented into public policy.”

Tim Evans, energy analyst for Citi Futures Perspective:

“This pick marks a real change, given his science background. But I’m not sure how much the Secretary of Energy can do to move the science along in terms of alternative energy breakthroughs.

“He seems like a smart guy and we certainly need to have someone in the position with an appreciation for science and technology.”

Bruce Bullock, director of Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University:

“Dr. Chu brings to the office the scientific knowledge of a Nobel prize winner. A scientist of his stature in this position should help overcome the partisan, political bickering which will undoubtedly occur.

“While he brings an emphasis on renewables and climate change, he also brings an assurance that policy will be based on sound science.”

Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council:

“Steven Chu comes from a background as director of the one of America’s most distinguished national laboratories. His experience seems to dovetail perfectly with the President-elect’s commitment to bringing new energy technology to market in a timely fashion.”

Chris Somerville, director of the Energy Biosciences Institute at Berkeley and works with Chu:

“I don’t see Steve as a very political person. He’s definitely not anything remotely like somebody you would call a wheeler-dealer. He’s very persuasive. He has very clear ideas about things. He’s a person who can take advice.

“I suspect we’ll see a lot more technology injected into the discussions than may have been up till now.”

Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe, Roberta Rampton, and Matthew Robinson; Editing by Christian Wiessner