President-elect Donald Trump has selected former Texas Governor Rick Perry to lead the Energy Department, according to two transition officials, an agency Perry famously once blanked out on the name he sought to eliminate during a presidential debate.
“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 the same approach to our entire country as Secretary of Energy,” Trump said in a statement. “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.”
Trump was considering three other people of this job, including Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Rep. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and former chairman of the Republican National Committee Ray Washburne.
Perry met with the President-elect three times, once before Thanksgiving holiday, over the weekend at the Army-Navy football game in Baltimore and on Monday for an hour and a half meeting.
Reports of his nomination began to surface with Monday night. According to Trump transition team, Perry will carry out Trump “vision to make America energy independent, create millions of new jobs, and protect clear air and water.”
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected as Secretary of Energy by President-elect Trump. I am deeply humbled by his trust in me,” Perry said in a statement. “As the former governor of the nations’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.”
During his 14 year tenure as Governor, Perry led the biggest energy producing state in the nation. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas during Governor Perry tenure produced the most wind energy in the nation.
The former Texas governor is a board member for the Energy Transfer Partners, the company involved in building the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, a project that has been stalled due to protestors led by Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Trump, who supports the project, stated he will review the decision of President Obama blockage of the project once he takes office next month.
If confirmed by the Senate, Perry will lead a department focusing on promoting clean energy, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and oversee domestic production of oil explode. Perry has advocated for reduce regulations on fossil fuel industry and questioned scientists for manipulating data “so they will have dollars rolling into their projects.”