Senate confirms former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as energy secretary

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is sworn in before testifying at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing Jan. 20. He was confirmed by the Senate on Mar. 2. Photo by Carlos Barria/REUTERS


The Senate has confirmed former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to serve as energy secretary under President Donald Trump.

The vote was 62-37 on Thursday.

Perry — who once pledged to eliminate the department — has repeatedly promised be an advocate for the agency and to protect the nation's nuclear stockpile. Perry also has said he'd rely on federal scientists, including those who work on climate change.

Perry has said he'll work to develop American energy in all forms — from oil, gas and nuclear power to renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

READ MORE: Scientists give Rick Perry mixed grades on his confirmation hearing

Democrats say they accept Perry's disavowal of his 2011 pledge to abolish the Energy Department. But they're worried he may not stand up to GOP proposals to slash the department's budget.

Perry served 14 years as Texas governor. He said he was for "all of the above" on energy production, from oil and gas to renewable sources like wind and solar power, before former President Barack Obama embraced the strategy.

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