Perry in His Own Words: How Trump’s Energy Pick Views His World

Trump to Nominate Rick Perry as Energy Secretary

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to become Secretary of Energy. Here are some comments Perry, 66, has made in recent years on oil production, renewable energy, the role of government, climate change and other environmental issues:

Federal Energy Policy

Now is the time for bold leadership with a game-changing energy policy that protects American interests and our allies. It’s not that we need a new energy policy, it’s that we need an energy policy, period. The President should work with Congress to pass an energy plan that makes America "energy secure" by a specific date. Our plan should include becoming the world’s largest net exporter of energy, it should allow for exploration and production in untapped fields, and it should help take us from the doldrums of anemic recovery to robust job growth. (prepared remarks at Texas energy and climate policy summit, Sept. 25, 2014)

On the EPA

Somebody has to tell the E.P.A. that we don’t need you monkeying around and fiddling around and getting in our business with every kind of regulation you can dream up. You’re doing nothing more than killing jobs. It’s a cemetery for jobs at the E.P.A. (remarks in Tea Party Republican Debate on Sept. 12, 2011)

On Russia’s Threat

One of the most profound ways to enhance national security, to bring stability around the globe, and to change dynamics around the globe, is to aggressively market American energy around the globe. We see how energy can be used for malignant purposes through the actions of Russia. Energy is a weapon in the hands of aggressors. So I say, if energy is going to be used as a weapon, America should always have the largest arsenal. (prepared remarks at Texas energy and climate policy summit, Sept. 25, 2014)

Energy Diversity

I feel strongly about any company that will come and deliver energy for the state of Texas, whether it’s wind, nuclear, solar, coal, or natural gas. We have to have it, and I think that’s the real issue here. I had the chairman of Exelon in here in the last six months, and we’re working on two different nuclear sites with them. There was probably a time when people would have gotten all up in arms that we were for nuclear. Frankly, I think nuclear is the big savior. (interview with Texas Monthly, published in May 2007)

Climate Change

The idea that we would put Americans’ economy in jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet is nonsense. Just because you have a group of scientists that have stood up and said, "Here is the fact" -- Galileo got outvoted for a spell. But the fact is to put America’s economic future in jeopardy, asking us to cut back in areas that would have monstrous economic impact on this country is not good economics and I will suggest to you that it is not necessarily good science. (remarks during Republican Presidential debate, 2011)

The ‘Oops’ Moment

It is three agencies of government, when I get there, that are gone: Commerce, Education, and the -- what’s the third one there. . . . I would do away with Education, Commerce, and, let’s see. I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Oops. (remarks during Republican Presidential Debate when he forgot Energy as one of the departments he’d eliminate, November 2011)

Alternative Energy

We will be missing a great opportunity as a state if we don’t go to the Exxon Mobils, if we don’t go to the bigger or smaller companies that are in the energy development business and ask them to join the state in creating an alternative energy effort here that is bigger and better than in any other state. There can be a lot of jobs created and a lot of wealth created by innovation in alternative fuels. (interview with Texas Monthly, published in May 2007)

The Shale Boom

Texas innovation gave the world Spindletop at the turn of the century and hydraulic fracturing at the end of the century. Today horizontal slant drilling is tapping oil and gas fields unreachable just a few years ago. This technology is testament to the power of the private sector to drive economic change. In Texas, we have chosen jobs. We have chosen energy security, and we will one day end America’s dependence on hostile sources of foreign energy. (farewell address to Texas legislature, January 2015)

Wind Power

Texas doesn’t just believe in the potential of wind energy, we are reaping its benefits already. People who talk about wind energy as a technology of the future clearly haven’t been to West Texas lately: the future of wind energy in Texas is now. I am proud that our state’s installed wind generation capacity leads the nation, a place we did not reach by accident. (remarks to the American Wind Energy Conference, June 2, 2008)

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