The U.S. Senate confirmed former GOP Texas Gov. Rick Perry as secretary of energy Thursday.
The Senate voted 62 to 37 to confirm Perry, including 10 Democrats and one Independent voting for him.
Before the vote, environmentalists were already denouncing Perry’s confirmation.
“Perry lacks the knowledge and experience to run the DOE,” Damon Moglen, a spokesperson at the green group Friends of the Earth, said in a press statement. “Should he steer the DOE on a course of climate denialism, push for expanded use of fossil fuels, or embrace the policies of the corrupt billionaire energy industry leaders who helped fund his political ambitions, we at Friends of the Earth will resist.”
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. In Perry’s book, “Fed Up!” he said 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.”
Perry said in a confirmation hearing in January that he believes humans play a role in global warming.
While Texas governor, Perry closed down numerous coal plants and the state’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell. Perry opposed Obama administration global warming regulations 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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