WASHINGTON (KXAN/AP) — A Senate panel has approved former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to serve as Energy secretary in Trump administration.
Perry faced a confirmation hearing earlier this month questioning if he is qualified to run the Energy Department, which he famously couldn’t remember during a 2011 presidential debate when listing the areas of government he would eliminate if elected. Perry addressed this statement at the hearing saying that “My past statements about abolishing the department do not reflect my current thoughts, I regret recommending its elimination.”
At his confirmation hearing, Perry also pledged to promote and develop American energy in all forms, advance the department’s science and technology mission and carefully dispose of nuclear waste. He also acknowledged that climate change is real.
Opponents say the former governor does not have the background or experience with nuclear weapons that he needs for the position, which he didn’t know much about. According to the New York Times, shortly after Perry accepted the nomination, it was only then that he learned that much of the job involves keeping watch over the nation’s large nuclear weapons.
While he was governor, Texas was number one in oil, natural gas and wind energy, which Perry strongly supported during his 14 years as governor. Perry is now the third Texan to hold the position.
The secretary of energy works on energy education and developing technologies for energy efficiency.