At a nomination hearing held by the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources yesterday, Rick Perry, who has been chosen by the newly-elected US president Donald Trump to lead the Department of Energy (DoE), reflected on his statement made several years ago that led to concerns on him being in charge of DoE.
Namely, with Donald Trump selecting Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of oil and gas giant ExxonMobil, as the Secretary of State and Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which Pruitt had sued over its regulations of power plants, some concerns were raised on the new president adding Perry as another member to the government who is a climate change sceptic, and who once proposed that the department should be eliminated.
“My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking. In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination,” Rick Perry said.
Regarding climate change, Perry said: “I believe the climate is changing. I believe some of it is naturally occurring, but some of it is also caused by manmade activity. The question is how do we address it in a thoughtful way that doesn’t compromise economic growth, the affordability of energy, or American jobs.”
“When it comes to climate change, I am committed to making decisions based on sound science and that also take into account the economic impact.”
However, not the entire energy sector saw Donald Trump’s pick of the former Texas Governor as Energy Secretary as concerning. Some welcomed Governor Perry’s background in recognising clean energy opportunities, which ultimately led the state of Texas to being the US leader in wind energy.
Touching on renewable energy at the nomination hearing, Perry stated: “If confirmed, I will advocate and promote American energy in all forms, and that includes renewables. America has been blessed with vast natural resources and the technology to utilize them. I am committed to helping provide stable, reliable, affordable, and secure sources of American energy. An American first energy strategy is important to create jobs and grow the economy.”
Offshore WIND Staff