Former Texas Gov. Perry gets nod from Trump as Energy Secretary

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who said he would abolish the US Department of Energy during one of his presidential campaigns, will be nominated to lead DOE in the next administration, President-elect Donald J. Trump announced on Dec. 14.

“As the governor of Texas, Rick Perry created a business climate that produced millions of new jobs and lower energy prices in his state, and he will bring that same approach to our entire country as Secretary of Energy,” Trump said.

“As the former governor of the nation’s largest energy-producing state, I know American energy is critical to our economy and our security,” Perry said.

American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard welcomed Perry’s selection and urged the nominee to make LNG exports a top priority at DOE. The department is responsible under the Natural Gas Act for determining whether applications to export LNG to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the US are in the national interest.

US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) said on Dec. 14 that she looks forward to discussing a wide range of issues with Perry, “including the high cost of energy in Alaska, the United States’ innovation excellence, the future of nuclear energy, LNG exports, and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

“I also look forward to learning more about the team he would put in place around him, and to considering his nomination before our committee at a hearing in early January,” she indicated.

US Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) expressed concern. “The Department of Energy is New Mexico’s economic lifeblood, and the people who work at our DOE and NNSA Labs are among our nation’s greatest intellectual assets,” he said.

“President-elect Trump has signaled his blatant hostility to the department and the workforce at our National Labs by nominating someone who has proposed eliminating this entire agency,” Heinrich continued. “I'm not confident that Rick Perry is fully cognizant of the role that DOE plays in keeping our nuclear deterrent safe, secure, and reliable.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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