President-elect Donald Trump has chosen former Texas Governor Rick Perry as his Secretary of Energy.
Perry served as agriculture commissioner in Texas before he became governor in 2000. His term ended in 2015. He ran for president in 2012 and 2016.
Texas is filled with natural resources, but as The New York Times points out, there is more than that to the Department of Energy:
While Texas is rich in energy resources and Mr. Perry is an enthusiastic advocate of extracting them, it is not clear how that experience would translate into leading what is also a major national security agency. Despite its name, the Department of Energy plays the leading role in designing nuclear weapons and in ensuring the safety and reliability of the nation’s aging nuclear arsenal through a constellation of scientific laboratories.
About 60 percent of the Energy Department’s budget is devoted to managing the National Nuclear Security Administration, which defines its mission as enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science.
The administration manages the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile and runs American programs on nuclear nonproliferation and counterterrorism. The two men who served as President Obama’s energy secretaries were physicists, one with a Nobel Prize, the other a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ironically, Perry said he would have chosen to eliminate this department if he became president. During a debate, he forgot the name of it, making it an oops moment, and ending his 2012 ambition:
He faced ridicule in 2011 after forgetting, during a debate, that the Energy Department was one of three federal agencies he promised to eliminate were he elected president. Mr. Perry listed the Education and Commerce departments, before drawing a blank on Energy and saying, “Oops.”
A few minutes later Mr. Perry belatedly added, “By the way, that was the Department of Energy I was reaching for a while ago,” but the moment effectively ended his campaign.
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