Rick Perry sworn in as head of US Energy Department

Rick Perry was sworn in as the 14th Secretary of the United States Department of Energy.

The nomination of the former Texas Governor Perry to be the Energy Secretary of the United States was confirmed by a vote of 62 to 37, yesterday, March 2, 2017.

Rick Perry said: “As Secretary, I will advocate and promote American energy in all forms. America has been blessed with vast natural resources and the technology to utilize them.

“I am committed to helping provide stable, reliable, affordable, and secure sources of American energy. An American first energy strategy is important to create jobs and grow the economy.”

Under Perry’s 14-years leadership, Texas reduced its carbon footprint by 17%, according to the US Department of Energy.

However, concerns have been raised on the continuation of climate change and clean energy policies within the US Department of Energy, as the newly elected energy secretary questioned the science behind climate change in the past.

Maria Cantwell, member of the Democratic Party and a Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, voted against Perry’s nomination, urging that the administration not reverse course on important renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.

Cantwell said: “We need an energy secretary for the 21st century – one that will help us by fighting for an [efficient] electricity grid and cybersecurity [protections] that will make our entire internet economy safer and more reliable. We need one who will invest in an energy efficiency strategy that will save our businesses money that will help make them competitive.

“We’ve had the last two presidents make energy efficiency a key priority – President Bush by advocating for plug-in vehicles and President Obama who made a major investment in smart grids, … efficiency, … and clean energy jobs.

“Governor Perry has not committed to those same principles that are going to move us towards those 21st century jobs. We don’t want to leave this part of our economy behind.

“This nomination is not the direction the Department of Energy needs to go in.”