Trump Picks Perry as Energy Chief: Reports

Yes, it's the department he once vowed to abolish
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2016 11:34 AM CST
Trump Picks Perry as Energy Chief: Reports
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry smiles as he leaves Trump Tower in New York on Monday.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

Donald Trump has decided on Rick Perry to lead the Energy Department, though that department wouldn't actually exist if Perry had his wish, reports the New York Times. NBC News and the Washington Post are also among several outlets reporting the news after the former Texas governor met with Trump for 90 minutes on Monday. All are citing anonymous transition officials. The Post speculates that Perry—who will be largely responsible for America's nuclear weapons as energy secretary—is likely to move "away from renewable energy and toward fossil fuels," given his track record as a strong ally of the oil industry in Texas. Perry, like Trump, has voiced skepticism about global warming.

A rep for the League of Conservation Voters accuses Perry of being "deep in the pocket of Big Polluters, who have contributed over $2.5 million to his presidential campaigns, a disturbing sign that they expected him to protect their profits in office, not do what’s best for the American people." However, an official who served in the Energy Department under George W. Bush says Perry has shown "it is indeed possible to successfully balance appropriate environmental regulations with domestic energy production and use." Perry—who previously described Trump as a "barking carnival act"—now sits on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, in charge of the Dakota Access Pipeline project, which will likely come up during confirmation hearings. (More Rick Perry stories.)

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