The former governor of Texas and twice unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Rick Perry, has been confirmed as Donald Trump’s Energy secretary-in-waiting.
Yet as recently as 2011 on the presidential campaign trail Perry promised he would do away with the agency he is about to run. He is a longstanding climate change sceptic.
“We’ll eliminate agencies that perform redundant functions, get rid of the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education , the Department of Energy”.
However Perry seemed to struggle to even remember energy in a Republican primary in 2011.
“It’s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education and the… What’s the third one there? Let’s see…The third agency of government I would do away with… Education, Commerce and, let’s see. I can’t. The third one I can’t. Sorry. Oops”. The lapse cost him dear in his campaign.
Trump praised Perry for creating millions of jobs and lowering energy prices from 2000 to 2015 as governor of Texas, which is a major oil, gas and wind power producer.
But his tenure also saw Texas enact some of the stiffest anti-abortion laws in the country.
The appointment means all of Trump’s choices for jobs likely to have a major environmental impact have gone to climate change sceptics and fans of fossil fuels.
Perry will also oversee America’s nuclear weapons programme.