Rick Perry confirmed by Senate as US energy secretary

Rick Perry

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has been confirmed as the head of the Energy Department. tpr.org photo.

Rick Perry says he regrets call to eliminate Department of Energy

On Thursday, former Texas Governor Rick Perry was confirmed by the US Senate to head the Department of Energy.

Despite Democrats’ concerns about Perry’s ties to energy companies, doubts about climate change science and his call to eliminate the department during his run to be the Republican nominee in the 2o12 election, Perry was confirmed in a 62 to 37 vote.

Perry was governor of Texas for 15 years, from 2000 to 2015.  He was the longest-serving governor of the Lone Star State in its history.

During his Senate confirmation hearing, Perry vowed to renew the country’s nuclear weapons arsenal.  President Trump has pledged to ensure the US arsenal is “the top of the pack”.  He believes the United States has fallen behind in its nuclear weapons capacity.

A number of Democratic lawmakers were concerned that Rick Perry would target scientists focussed on climate change and clean energy and weaken the department.

Senator Ron Wyden, a Democratic senator and member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee says he is concerned Perry will not push back against the Trump administration bent on cutting the department’s budget and focus on clean energy research and development.

 

“As Trump is threatening to slash DOE’s budget, Gov. Perry hasn’t convinced me he’s up to the task of creating those jobs and putting points on the board in the fight against climate change,” Wyden said.

Speaking in favor of the former governor, Republican Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, chair of the energy committee, tweete Perry would be “He will provide leadership…as we pursue broad benefits of energy innovation & greater security for energy infrastructure.”

Posted in: Energy Politics

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