Rick Perry

Perry Says Fossil Fuels Can Prevent Sexual Assault

Energy Secretary Rick Perry claimed that fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault, NBC News reports.

Said Perry: “But also from the standpoint of sexual assault, when the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts. So from the standpoint of how you really affect people’s lives, fossil fuels is going to play a role in that. I happen to think it’s going to play a positive role.”

The Scariest Nuclear Threat Might Be in the White House

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.”

Perry Duped Into Fake Interview by Russian Comedians

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.

EPA Chief Pushes Effort to Question Climate Change

“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.”

Perry Faces Steep Learning Curve

“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.”

Perry May Be Pressed to Resume Nuclear Testing

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.”