Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will run the Energy Department under President-elect Donald Trump
Donald Trump confirmed Wednesday that he will nominate former Republican primary rival Rick Perry to lead the department of Energy, an agency that the former Texas governor once wanted to abolish.
“As the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry created a business climate that produced millions of new jobs and lower energy prices in his state, and he will bring that same approach to our entire country as Secretary of Energy,” Trump said in a statement announcing the selection.
Perry, citing his experience as governor of “the nation’s largest energy producing state,” said in a statement that “I know American energy is critical to our economy and our security. I look forward to engaging in a conversation about the development, stewardship and regulation of our energy resources, safeguarding our nuclear arsenal, and promoting an American energy policy that creates jobs and puts America first.”
Perry unsuccessfully sought the presidency twice, and the Energy department played a role in his infamous “oops” moment during his run for the 2012 Republican nomination. During a debate in late 2011, Perry could name only two of three Cabinet departments he wanted to abolish; Energy was the one he couldn’t recall.
A Texas A&M University graduate, an Air Force veteran, and a former farmer, Perry became governor of Texas after George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000. Perry did not seek re-election in 2014.
During his unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 2016, Perry and Trump attacked each other vehemently during the early part of the Republican primary campaign. Perry described Trump as “a cancer on conservatism,” while Trump said Perry started wearing glasses to try and make himself look smarter.
Democrats quickly noted that Perry is a board member and owns stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the company trying to build the disputed Dakota Access pipeline.
They also question his overall qualifications, noting that the department of Energy is responsible for securing nuclear weapons.
“I’m not confident that Rick Perry is fully cognizant of the role that DOE plays in keeping our nuclear deterrent safe, secure and reliable,” said U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “He is utterly unqualified to lead this critical agency.”
Despite some clear position Perry is expected to be confirmed.
Some quotes used in this story were from ASSOCIATED PRESS and the video was from Wocht