Rick Perry’s confirmation hearing as Energy Secretary is underway.
Perry had no idea what being the Energy Secretary meant: “When President-elect Donald J. Trump offered Rick Perry the job of energy secretary five weeks ago, Mr. Perry gladly accepted, believing he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry that he had long championed in his home state.In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.”
“My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking,” Perry will say, according to an advance copy of 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.”
Perry, most known for serving as governor of Texas for 15 years and running for president in 2012 and 2016, will cast himself as an advocate for a range of energy sources when he testifies before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, noting that he presided over the nation’s leading energy producing state.