Former Texas governor Rick Perry has been sworn in as Donald Trump's energy secretary - despite having once pledged to scrap the department he will now run.
Perry, a two-time presidential candidate, began as a harsh critic of Trump during the 2016 race.
The genial Republican drew less fire from Democrats during his confirmation process than other Trump nominees, but Perry faces numerous same tough issues over regulations, the department's activities to slow climate change, and potentially deep cuts in manpower and spending.
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"If confirmed, my desire is to lead this agency in a thoughtful manner, surrounding myself with expertise on the core functions of the department", Perry said.
John Cornyn praised Perry as he introduced him to the committee citing job growth and Texas becoming the top exporting state in the country while Perry was Governor. He said he hoped Perry would rely on "these same principles". The Department of Energy is now in the hands of someone who promotes dirty fossil fuels rather than the advancing clean energy market all the while ignoring the climate crisis. Most of its budget goes to maintaining the nuclear weapons stockpile and cleaning up an old weapons site in Hanford, Wash. She cited his failure to oppose Trump administration moves away from the commitments by both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations to renewable energy and energy efficiency. Gov. Perry was also committed to energy generation and development from wind and other sources in the state, and helped make key advancements by supporting new energy technologies through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
"Being in this room today and seeing this group of former rivals who are now on the same team making America great again gives me great joy", Perry said on Thursday evening. As head of the DOE, Perry would manage sales of millions of barrels of crude out of the SPR, which Congress has authorized over the past year, and would need to decide on roughly $2 billion in infrastructure upgrades the DOE says the government stockpile now needs.