Perry During Hearing: ‘I Believe The Climate Is Changing’

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he believes humans play a role in global warming during his confirmation hearing Thursday.

“I believe the climate is changing,” said Perry, who President-elect Donald Trump nominated to head the Department of Energy.

“I believe that some of it is naturally occurring, but some of it is caused by man-made activity,” Perry said. “The question is, how we address it in a thoughtful way that doesn’t compromise economic growth, effect the affordability of energy or American jobs.”

Perry’s nomination worried Democrats in light of a leaked transition team memo that had numerous questions regarding the agency’s work on global warming. That memo inquired about ways the Energy Department could keep aging nuclear reactors online. Perry disavowed the memo.

“During my time as governor, Texas took the national lead in wind energy development and now producers more wind… than five countries,” Perry said. “When it comes to climate change, I’m committed to making decisions based on sound science that also take into account the economic impact.”

While Texas governor, Perry said numerous coal plants were closed down and the state’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell.

In Perry’s book, “Fed Up!” he said that global warming science is a “contrived phony mess,” and claimed “a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling in to their projects.”

He spent much of the hearing walking back a previous pledge he made to eliminate the Department of Energy.

Perry opposed Obama administration global warming regulation over concerns they would have “devastating implications” for the Texas economy. He backs an “all of the above” energy strategy that doesn’t discriminate between oil, coal, nuclear, biofuels, hydroelectric, solar, and wind energy.

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