December 14, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as energy secretary, the Trump transition team announced Wednesday morning.
Perry, who once said he’d like to eliminate the Energy Department, sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and again in 2016, when Mr. Trump eventually captured the nod.
“Gov. Perry was the chief executive of one of the country’s largest states and one of the largest economies in the world,” the transition team said in a statement. “He is also one of the most successful governors in modern history, having led Texas through a sustained period of economic growth and prosperity by developing the state’s energy resources and infrastructure, and making low-cost energy available to companies and families.”
“As the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry created 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,” the team quotes Mr. Trump as saying. “My administration is going to make sure we take advantage of our huge natural resource deposits to make America energy independent and create vast new wealth for our nation, and Rick Perry is going to do an amazing job as the leader of that process.”
The former Texas governor sits on two corporate boards – one of them is Energy Transfer Partners – and that may present a confirmation issue. Energy Transfer Partners has a subsidiary known as Dakota Access LLC, which is attempting to build the Dakota Access Pipeline. That Dakota Access Pipeline has been the subject of public protests over its potential environmental impact and damage to Native American lands.
Recently, the Obama administration blocked the Dakota Access Pipeline easement through Lake Oahe, a move that jeopardized the 1,172-mile underground pipeline. The incoming Trump administration has said it will review the decision.
Mr. Trump once invested in Energy Transfer Partners and supports completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline. He told Fox News Sunday that he would intervene if the matter is not resolved before he is inaugurated.
“When I get to office, if it’s not solved, I’ll have it solved very quickly,” he said.
Perry has been tapped to lead an agency he has suggested should be shut down. Although when Perry ran for the 2012 GOP nomination, during a debate, he famously forgot the name one of the three agencies he had pledged to eliminate.
“The third agency of government I would — I would do away with Education, the –Commerce…Commerce and, let’s see. I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry — oops,” he said.
Later in the debate, Perry remembered, “It was the Department of Energy that I was reaching for before.”