President-elect Donald Trump said today that he intends to name Rick Perry, who served as Texas governor from 2000 to 2015, as his Secretary of Energy.
- “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 in a release from his transition team.
- “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.”
Environmental organizations will undoubtedly find fault with his ties to the oil and gas industry. Dallas billionaire Kelcy Warren, who is CEO of Dakota Access Pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners, is a big Perry supporter. Last year, Perry joined his board of directors. Warren is also CEO of Roatan Electric Company, which is investing $5 million in a new wind farm off the coast of Honduras.
Perry also has a strong track record with the wind industry, with the state becoming a wind energy generation leader during his tenure as governor. In late November, wind gusts along the Gulf Coast, the Texas Panhandle and in West Texas generated 15,033 megawatts of wind energy at once – nearly half of the state’s electricity at the time, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected to serve as Secretary of Energy by President-elect Trump,” Perry said. “I am deeply humbled by his trust in me.
- As the former governor of the nation’s largest energy producing state, I know American energy is critical to our economy and our security.
- I look forward to engaging in a conversation about the development, stewardship and regulation of our energy resources, safeguarding our nuclear arsenal, and promoting an American energy policy that creates jobs and puts America first.”
“Over all, Governor Perry is a sound choice, because you need a strong leader with political stature and a megaphone for the job, and Rick has both,” he said, noting that he and Mr. Perry had often worked together as governors of adjoining southwestern states.
This month, the transition team circulated an unusual 74-point questionnaire at the Energy Department that requested the names of all employees and contractors who had attended climate change policy conferences, as well as emails and documents about the conferences.
Rick Perry served as governor of Texas for 14 years, far and away the longest period of time anyone has held that office (John B. Connally was the only other person to hold it for as many as 8 years). During that period of time he no doubt learned that, if the government just gets out of the oil and gas industry’s way, it can be an incredibly productive driver of economic development. This does not mean the industry should not be regulated, but that it should be regulated intelligently and efficiently, and by the proper level of government. Because of that understanding, he and his attorney general, current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, consistently fought efforts by the federal government to usurp the state’s regulatory authority.
The end result is that, by the time Mr. Perry left office in Jan. 2015, Texas ranked as the world’s 3rd largest provider of natural gas and its 8th largest producer of crude oil. This is not the kind of thing that happens by accident, or solely due to the fact that Texas is home to gigantic reserves of oil and gas in the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale and Barnett Shale regions of the state. Had Gov. Perry attempted to regulate the state’s economy as a succession of California governors have regulated in their state, the Texas shale “miracle” would have been far less miraculous and highly muted.
Also visit: How Trump Can Influence Climate Change at www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/12/08/us/trump-climate-change.html