“Energy Secretary Rick Perry took a chartered jet to Ohio last week, according to an airport management company, the day before fellow Cabinet member Tom Price resigned over his use of private charter flights for government business,” Reuters reports.
Michael Lewis has a must-read piece on the Department of Energy — from the “ceremonial and bizarre” role of energy secretary Rick Perry to the Trump administration’s apparent total disinterest in the agency.
In his confirmation hearings to run the department Perry confessed that when he called for its elimination he hadn’t actually known what the Department of Energy did—and he now regretted having said that it didn’t do anything worth doing.
The question on the minds of the people who currently work at the department: Does he know what it does now? D.O.E. press secretary Shaylyn Hynes assures us that “Secretary Perry is dedicated to the missions of the Department of Energy.” And in his hearings, Perry made a show of having educated himself. He said how useful it was to be briefed by former secretary Ernest Moniz. But when I asked someone familiar with those briefings how many hours Perry had spent with Moniz, he laughed and said, “That’s the wrong unit of account.” With the nuclear physicist who understood the D.O.E. perhaps better than anyone else on earth, according to one person familiar with the meeting, Perry had spent minutes, not hours. “He has no personal interest in understanding what we do and effecting change,” a D.O.E. staffer told me in June. “He’s never been briefed on a program—not a single one, which to me is shocking.”
Energy Secretary Rick Perry “optimistically discussed expanding American coal exports to Ukraine and other energy matters during a lengthy phone call this month with a Russian prankster who Perry thought was Ukraine’s prime minister,” Reuters reports.
“Perry actually was talking with comedians known in Russia for targeting celebrities and politicians with audacious stunts… During the 22-minute call on July 19, Perry, whose department oversees the U.S. nuclear weapons program, discussed a range of topics in a business-like tone, including sanctions against Russia and helping Ukraine develop oil and gas.”
The audio from the call is online.
“The Trump administration is debating whether to launch a governmentwide effort to question the science of climate change, an effort that critics say is an attempt to undermine the long-established consensus human activity is fueling the Earth’s rising temperatures,” the Washington Post reports.
“The move, driven by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, has sparked a debate among top Trump administration officials over whether to pursue such a strategy.”
“Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who once described the science behind human-caused climate change as a ‘contrived phony mess,’ also is involved in the effort.”
New York Times: “Pruitt has moved to undo, delay or otherwise block more than 30 environmental rules, a regulatory rollback larger in scope than any other over so short a time in the agency’s 47-year history.”
Energy Secretary Rick Perry told CNBC that he does not believe CO2 emissions from human activity are a main driver of climate change, comments at odds with top government scientists.
Perry added that being a skeptic about climate change issues is “quite all right” and suggests a sign of a “wise, intellectually engaged person.”
Energy Secretary Rick Perry told the Houston Chronicle that the election of the first openly gay president of Texas A&M’s student body was “stolen” and that the student who had the most votes was disqualified through a process that “made a mockery of due process and transparency.”
“When President-elect Donald 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,” the New York Times reports.
“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.”
New York Times: “A central mission of the nation’s weapons laboratories is to ensure that the country’s nuclear weapons still work if needed. To do that, the government has long relied on a program that avoids the need for underground testing, instead using data from supercomputers and laboratory experiments and inspecting the warheads.”
“But some nuclear analysts say that the Trump administration is likely to face decisions that could upend the bomb program, leading to a resumption of testing and perhaps a new global arms race if they are mishandled. Adding to the concern is Mr. Trump’s choice of a politician with no expertise in nuclear or technical matters, former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, to lead the Energy Department, which runs the nation’s nuclear-weapons labs and the safeguards program.”
President-elect Donald Trump has selected former Texas Gov. Rick Perry — who famously once forgot that he wanted to abolish the Energy Department — to be secretary of energy, two sources familiar with the transition process told NBC News.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was being discussed as a potential Energy Secretary in the Trump administration, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The department is the one Perry famously forgot during a Republican primary debate in 2012.
“My preference of what’s next for Rick Perry is not to be in the United States Senate.”
— Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), quoted by the Texas Tribune, tamping down speculation he’ll run against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in 2018.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will join the cast of “Dancing with the Stars”, according to Entertainment Tonight.
The cast will also include rapper Vanilla Ice, football star Calvin “Megatron” Johnson and Olympian Ryan Lochte.