Rick Perry, former governor of Texas and Trump’s nominee for Energy Secretary, expressed regret for his 2012 campaign promise to do away with the department he now seeks to lead.
Reversing earlier declarations, he also said that he now believes the Earth’s climate is changing, and admitted that he felt at least part of that change is due to manmade activity.
“My past statements made over five years ago, about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking,” Perry said in his opening statement. “In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination,” a Washington Post article reported. So, after coming to a better understanding of what the energy department actually does, Perry has changed his opinion.
Perry’s comment about climate change is a departure from, both his earlier statements and Trump’s more current statements. When asked by Sen. Bernie Sander is he agreed climate change is a crisis, Perry declined to agree and said he liked to leave that kind of political rhetoric behind.
The energy nominee also said he had spoken to Trump about leaving Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz in charge of the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, something Trump has said he is against. Perry told the panel he felt the conservative movement was about policy not people.
If confirmed, Perry would oversee the nation’s nuclear stockpile, the petroleum reserve, appliance standards, as well as oversight of loans for all types of energy exploration. As Texas governor, Perry expanded wind energy and yet benefited from both oil and gas exploration.