Trump nominates Perry to lead the Department of Energy

By Erin Voegele | December 14, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Rick Perry, a former governor of Texas, to serve as Secretary of Energy. The nomination is subject to approval by the U.S. Senate.

Perry, who previously sought the 2012 and 2016 republican presidential nomination, advocated for the elimination several federal agencies during his campaign, including the U.S. Department of Energy. Several environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and National Resource Defense Council, have criticized Perry’s nomination, citing his ties to the fossil fuels industry and position on climate change.

Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist, currently serves as secretary of energy. Prior to Moniz, the position was held by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu.

The American Coalition for Ethanol has weighed in on Perry’s nomination. “The Department of Energy has conducted important scientific research demonstrating the benefits of high-octane fuels, particularly blends of ethanol between 25 and 40 percent, and provided timely leadership to help establish a high-octane fuel specification at ASTM,” said Brian Jennings, executive vice president at ACE. “We encourage Governor Perry, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, to maintain the technical support role of the Energy Department, which will be essential as we make the case for high-octane blends in the E25-E40 range.”

Growth Energy stressed Trump’s support of the renewable fuel standard (RFS). "Governor Perry has been nominated by President-elect Trump to help him carry out his vision for America,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “President-elect Trump has made his position on the renewable fuel standard (RFS) clear. He understands its importance and on the campaign trail repeatedly made a commitment to America that he will preserve the RFS and pursue a policy that supports domestic energy production, America’s heartland, and the hard working Americans who helped him win the White House.”

Sen. Chuck Grassely, R-Iowa, has spoken out regarding the recent Trump nominations of Perry to lead the Energy Department and Scott Pruitt, attorney general of Oklahoma, to lead the U.S. EPA, noting he will press them on their views of renewable fuels. “President-elect Trump has indicated his support for the renewable fuel standard and the ethanol industry and has recognized ethanol’s contribution to energy independence,” Grassley said. “I look forward to working with the President-elect and his nominees to continue the success of domestic biofuels.  I intend to press the nominees on their views on renewable fuels since they come from fossil fuels-producing states.  If needed, I’ll be glad to explain the many benefits of biofuels to U.S. economic and national security, energy independence, and American job growth.”