By: Zack Duvall
Former Texas Governor, Rick Perry, was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday, in a vote of 62-37, to become the new head of America’s Department of Energy, which also oversees the the United State’s nuclear arsenal.
Perry, who is the longest serving Texas Governor, has come under staunch criticism from Democrats during his confirmation hearings because of his record of skepticism regarding climate change, alleged ties to the oil industry, and the fact that Perry had at one point said that the entire department should be abolished as a whole.
As head of America’s Department of Energy, Perry would oversee the vast amount of the country’s scientific research that pertains to advancements in renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as continued research regarding the oil industry, thought to be behind the recent drilling “boom” occurring around the country.
During his confirmation hearings Perry told committee members that much of his focus during his time as head of the department, would be spent on renewing the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal, which he along with President trump have said has been allowed to deteriorate under the Obama administration.
Democrats have used that testimony as ammunition in their argument against him for the position and why his priorities conflict with what they say the job entitles.
“As Trump is threatening to slash DOE’s budget, Gov. Perry hasn’t convinced me he’s up to the task of creating those jobs and putting points on the board in the fight against climate change.” Democrat Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon said in a statement of his decision to vote ‘no’ on Perry’s confirmation.