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Trump Picks Energy Secretary Who Wanted to Eliminate Department

In an infamous 2011 Republican presidential primary debate, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry stated he would abolish three federal agencies: Commerce, Education, and "Oops!" — he couldn't recall. That department, energy, he has now been selected to lead.
December 14, 2016, 9am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Texas Governor Rick Perry
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The selection of the longest-serving governor in Texas history by President-elect Donald Trump to lead the U.S Department of Energy was confirmed Tuesday by "three sources close to the transition," reported Darius Dixonenergy reporter for POLITICO Pro.

Like the nominations for the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Interior, Perry is a climate skeptic, the description used by Dixon (others call him a climate denier).

Almost anyone Trump selected for DOE was expected to shift away from the Obama administration’s emphasis on addressing climate change, and Perry fits the bill. Where Trump has called climate change a “hoax,” Perry has gone even further by alleging a profit motive, asserting that “a substantial number of scientists ... have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.”

Undoing President Obama's climate agenda:

While the levers of energy regulation are limited at DOE when compared to agencies like EPA, Perry could slow-walk the department’s appliance efficiency mandates and de-emphasize its research on climate science. Those efficiency regulations account for half of the greenhouse gas reduction targets that Obama made part of his Climate Action Plan in 2013. And there's no undoing them in one fell swoop: Dozens of rulemakings are involved and would require a massive, years-long effort to go after them one by one.

"[Perry's] ideological obsession with promoting dirty fossil fuels and ignoring the climate crisis means he is just as unfit for this position as the other climate deniers Trump is promoting for key posts," stated Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director.

However, Planetizen noted in 2014 that Perry signed a bill that was more generous than California in the incentives it provided to cleaner motor vehicles.

Dixon also revealed an interesting part of Perry's past as a Democrat: he "served as Al Gore's state chairman during the 1988 presidential campaign." His defense in 2011: “This was Al Gore before he invented the internet and got to be Mr. Global Warming.”

If Perry is confirmed, he will succeed Ernest Moniz, formerly a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

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Published on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 in Politico
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