This is an excerpt from the 2018 Steve Dustcircle book, Trump’s Cabinet: The Rise of Each Appointed Deplorable, available in ebook and paperback from Amazon.com. The book contains links to multiple references and citations.
SECRETARY OF ENERGY
The Department of Energy was formed by Jimmy Carter in 1977 with the signing of the Department of Energy Organization Act.
While it started as a energy production post, it now focuses more on efficiency in energy sources, the education thereof, and responsible disposal of radioactive waste. The DOE has an annual budget of $30 billion, two-thirds of it regards nuclear energy.
President Donald Trump has nominated and had confirmed former Republican Governor Rick Perry of Texas as his Secretary of the Department of Energy. Perry is the son of a Democrat cotton farmer.
He replaces an M.I.T. physics department chairman: Ernest J. Moniz. Before Moniz, the Secretary of Energy position was held by Nobel Prize winner, Steven Chu, a physicist.
Rick Perry graduated in 1972 from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in animal science, where he was a cheerleader and earned a C in Physics. He graduated with a 1.88 (D+) GPA in science courses.
Following university, Perry went on to selling books door-to-door and then went into the Air Force.
In 1974, he finished pilot training with the United States Air Force. While serving, his missions included—but was not limited to—drought relief to countries like Mali, Mauritania and Chad. He also helped with hurricane relief in Guatemala two years later.
While Perry had an interest in politics in his formative years, it was in 1984 that he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. He was a Democrat at the time. Rick Perry supported Al Gore in Gore’s presidential run in 1988. A year later, Perry switched parties.
In 1990, Perry ran for Agriculture Commissioner, having Karl Rove as his campaign manager. With his win, he pushed for Texas-produced produce to be sold across state lines and to foreign countries.
1998 brought Perry seeking the office of Lieutenant Governor, but he had a falling out with Rove because of the feuding between the Bushes and the Perrys.
Two years later, George Bush Jr. retired as governor and Perry was moved up the pedestal. This was late 2000. A year later, he set a record in using his veto power: 82 times. Rick Perry became the longest serving governor in Texas.
In 2003, Texas started to borrow money to help build roads and ended up owing over $17 billion, increasing the state debt to almost $38 billion (2011) under Perry’s leadership.
Perry was against the Affordable Care Act from the beginning, as many Republicans were. Sadly, Texas rose to first in the nation for medically-uninsured residents, had the lowest quality for health care for pregnant women, and the state continued to cut Medicare assistance for poor families.
He is a strong proponent of the death penalty, and the execution numbers in Texas are evidence of this conviction. This is politically controversial in itself, but Perry salivates so much about the death penalty that he will execute innocent or mentally ill people. When someone (e.g. Cameron Todd Willingham) on death row was found out to be innocent, those involved in trying to free the condemned man were replaced with those who wanted the man to die.
Ironically, Perry says he is “pro-life,” even in cases of incest and rape. A fetal termination is only allowed if the mother’s life was at risk, he said in 2011.
The NRA (National Rifle Association) gives him an A+ rating.
He is anti-LGBT and fully endorsed an “anti-sodomy” law, stating that he believes only in “traditional marriage.” Fortunately, the ridiculous law was shot down by the courts. He also believes—according to his 2008 book—that homosexuality and alcoholism is somehow connected, and that promoting the human rights of gay and lesbian civilians is “not in America’s interests.”
Also as governor, Perry has given oil corporations millions and tried to silence those who showed concern. He also sits on the board for Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access LLC. Yes, they are the ones known for the Dakota pipeline and the invasion of sovereign nation of the Standing Rock Sioux.
In 2007, Perry mandated that all girls get the HPV vaccine, and it was discovered that Perry himself received contributions from the vaccine’s manufacturer, Merck.
President Trump has more than once nominated a person to a position that they said that they wanted to scrap (the EPA’s Pruitt). Rick Perry and the Department of Energy is no different.
Perry also said he wanted to get rid of two other departments: Commerce and Education. This gaffe is known as the “oops” moment.
He also seems on the fence about whether or not humans are causing climate change, once accusing scientists of being paid off to manipulate the research. He also pushes for both evolution and creationism to be taught in classrooms, though he’d prefer it to be creationism, since he is a believer in a Bible without error in its text.
In 2014, Perry was indicted on two criminal charges, both of which were dropped in 2016: one, for threatening to withdraw public funding for the Public Integrity Unit, and also for coercion of a public servant.
Nevertheless, Rick Perry is now the Secretary of Energy, a chair that he misunderstood, and received much ridicule for. The New York Times reported that Perry thought “he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry that he had long championed in his home state.”
Essentially, Congress appointed a man that knows nothing about his job or the vast responsibilities it entails. For example, he did not know that he pretty much is responsible for the nuclear energy within the United States.
This is a big deal. This can be bad, considering the national laboratories that the agency oversees are the “crown jewels” of government science.
America, however, is fortunate that Texas leads the nation for renewable wind energy initiatives, but this is irrelevant now that Perry is in a chair that has more to do with national security and atomic weapons than with mining for coal or fracking for oil.
Trivia: Rick Perry was a contestant on the TV show, “Dancing with the Stars” (Season 23).